Bart Cummings – One of Racing’s True Heroes / National / 21 Nov, 2008

There has been plenty written and said about Bart Cummings after his recent twelfth Melbourne Cup winner. His record and achievements are an open book – they are there for all the world to see. Needless to say, the Australian racing community and the wider community in the current era have been privileged during their lifetimes to witness two amazing feats in Makybe Diva’s three consecutive Melbourne Cup wins – a feat unlikely to be replicated ever; and a racehorse trainer training the winners of twelve Melbourne Cups, seven more than his nearest rival Lee Freedman.

Yes Bart Cummings is unique, and the exciting thing about this 81 year old genius is that there just may be more chapters to add to this amazing Melbourne Cup racing story.

For generations to come, racegoers fortunately, will be able to pay homage to the great man at Flemington who has been immortalised by the VRC with his own statue.

The accolades have come thick and fast for Bart Cummings and there is little more in the way of formal honours that can be bestowed upon him. He is a Australian Racing Hall of Fame member and Living Legend, he has been inducted as a member of the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame and recently elevated to Legend status, he has been awarded an honour under the Australian Honours system. There are not many in Australian thoroughbred racing that can boast such an amazing CV.

From a racehorse training perspective, Bart Cummings has probably done more to elevate the profession and gain the respect of the wider community for racehorse trainers than many others. His achievements have highlighted the unique skills that are required to make racehorse training a success and elevated the profession into the same status and reverence that iconic sporting figures like Don Bradman command.

At a time when true heroes are hard to find, we are fortunate that in Bart Cummings, the Australian thoroughbred racing industry and the profession of racehorse trainers have delivered an iconic figure, who will be revered for many years to come.