Ode to Bart Cummings

James Bartholomew Cummings died on August 30, 2015.

It is the end of an era in Australian horse racing that will never be forgotten. The Cups King as he was known for his successes and quinellas in the Melbourne Cup will long live on in Australian horse racing history and folklore.

Bart Cummings’ father was a Melbourne Cup winning trainer (Comic Court 1950) and according to the history, Bart Cummings had his first Melbourne Cup runner in 1958 with that first victory some fifty years ago (Light Fingers 1965). Horse racing then was a mixture of local and New Zealand bred horses vying for the coveted trophy and prestige of the main event. Cummings won many more Cups over the next few decades with three 1960’s winners, 4 in the 1980’s and 1990’s. His last victory in the Melbourne Cup was with Viewed in 2008 with lately only one old stager Precedence heading the team.

It is hard to believe that someone has been synonymous with a sport for so long to the point that his name for almost every Australian is a household term associated with a race, the race that still stops a nation. Bart Cummings’ dry wit and laconic style when interviewed was always a pleasure to watch.

The Cummings family are trainers. His father was a trainer, his son is a trainer and his grandson is a trainer. Bart Cummings’ legend will live on through his progeny and the memories of the race horse fraternity and others that long remember a champion.


Bart and Roy studying the form

Bart Cummings with Roy Higgins



J. Bart Cummings Melbourne Cup Roll Call

12 of the best
Light Fingers (1965)
Galilee (1966)
Red Handed (1967)
Think Big (1974)
Think Big (1975)
Gold and Black (1977)
Hyperno (1979)
Kingston Rule (1990)
Let's Elope (1991)
Saintly (1996)
Rogan Josh (1999)
Viewed (2008)



Ode to Bart Cummings

(as sung to the music of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”)

Cummings won a Melbourne Cup
Hoorah, Hoorah
Cummings won another Cup
Hoorah, Hoorah
The Master Trainer who won a dozen
There is no other to surpass his thunder
He’s the greatest of the great for sure and sure
The legend’ry mighty man.

Vale Bart Cummings aged 87.