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Vale Bart Cummings

Monday, 31st August 2015

Australia's greatest ever racehorse trainer Bart Cummings has died aged 87, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The legendary horseman, who was affectionately known as the 'Cups King' courtesy of his twelve victories in Australia's most famous race, the Melbourne Cup, passed away yesterday morning at his home in Sydney. "James Bartholomew Cummings OAM, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning, Sunday the 30th of August 2015, in his homestead at Princes Farm, Castlereagh," Cummings' grandson and training partner, James, said in a statement. "His final moments were spent with his family and wife of 61 years, Valmae, with whom he celebrated their anniversary on Friday." He added: "For Bart, aged 87, this was a fitting end. A husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, a master trainer and larger than life figure. We will miss you." Born at Glenelg in South Australia on 14 November 14, 1927, James Bartholomew Cummings began training horses at age 26 with his father Jim. In fact, Cummings' long affinity with the Melbourne Cup began when he was strapper for his father's horse, Comic Court, who won the 1950 edition of the Cup. "I'm just thankful my father talked me into being a horse trainer," he said. Apart from his twelve Melbourne Cup wins - seven more than any other trainer - Cummings remarkable training record also includes four Golden Slippers, seven Caulfield Cups, five Cox Plates, nine VRC Oaks and eight Newmarket Handicaps. Some of the champion gallopers Cummings trained include Let's Elope, Saintly, Taj Rossi, Light Fingers, Galilee, Leilani, Beau Zam, and most recently So You Think, who became the first horse in history to win the Cox Plate at age three and four. Fittingly, the great man went out on a winning note when the last horse he ever saddled up in a race, Sultry Feeling, saluted at Rosehill on Saturday.

Bart Cummings

Bart Cummings with jockey Jim Cassidy
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