Daily News Archive
Daily News Subscription
Thousands of mourners farewelled Australia's greatest ever racehorse trainer Bart Cummings at a state funeral in Sydney yesterday, reports ABC News. 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 last week at the age of 87. Among the politicians and dignitaries to attend the service at St Mary's Cathedral were Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, NSW Premier Mike Baird, and former prime minister Bob Hawke. Cummings' son Anthony was one of several people, including Bart's long-time friend Malcolm Wutke, to deliver an emotional eulogy. "I was always in awe of my father," Cummings said. "He could talk on any subject and had a view on everything." He added: "People came to him for advice. They didn't always like what they were told but they got what they asked for, his view unequivocal, unabashed, uncensored." Cummings also spoke of his father's beloved Princes Farm, situated at the foot of the Blue Mountains on the banks of the Nepean River. "His dream was to have his own property and Princes Farm became that place. A touch of Ireland, a touch of New Zealand, a lot of Bart," he said. "He bred and grew his own horses and had a fantastic record with horses off the farm. It was a lifelong passion realised." He ended his eulogy by saying: "Dad spent time with kings and queens, prime ministers, premiers and the common man. Treated all equally and gave them time". He added: "In the end, Dad was more than a horseman. [He was] an icon, a legend, all of that; built from flames and hardship to go with success. Bob Hawke described him as a great and good Australian. Enough 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.