The Courier-Mail

Rac­ing great an Aussie leg­end

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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.

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