Racing great an Aussie legend
THERE are some rare men and women who transcend the everyday and come to personify a special part of Australia’s identity to which they devote their lives. Bart Cummings was such a man. There are thousands of horse trainers in Australia, but Cummings was so much more. He was not only a trainer, a horse whisperer, but someone who has long been synonymous with Australia’s most iconic sporting event, the Melbourne Cup.
The race that stops a nation was won by one of his horses on 12 occasions, the first almost 50 years ago. Win, lose or scratch, he was always there with his unique blend of intellect and humour, passion and insight.
Bart Cummings was racing in Australia; a figure who will be revered in the same way as other greats such as Don Bradman in cricket and Peter Brock in motor racing – men who become the familiar and public face of sporting contests that captivate millions.
Australia is all the richer for the contribution of men and women like Cummings. His life was long and full, but he will be sorely missed.