The career of the racehorse trainer Bart Cummings was synonymous with the Melbourne Cup, which he claimed a record 12 times. He won his first with Light Fingers in 1965, his last with Viewed in 2008. In 1965, 1966, 1974, 1975 and 1991, he trained both the first- and second-place horses in Australia's richest and most prestigious race.
He trained 266 Group One winners and had 758 stakes victories among nearly 7,000 winners. He also won many other top Australian races: seven Caulfield Cups, five Cox Plates and four Golden Slippers.
He was born in 1927 in Adelaide, and began training in 1953 at his father's stables. In 1973-74, he became the first trainer in a Commonwealth country to pass $1 million in prize money in a season. He was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1982 for services to the racing industry. During the torch relay for the 2000 Sydney Games, Cummings carried the Olympic torch down the straight at Flemington race track in Melbourne.
On the day he died, a minute's silence was held at Wyong race track north of of Sydney, where jockey Glyn Schofield, who won aboard Midas in the third race, said his victory was "all for Bart". Former jockey Darren Beadman, who began riding for Cummings in the early 1980s, said his death marked a sad day in Australian racing history. "He was a visionary. He was quite fun to be around – he had some great one-liners," Beadman said, "You can't compare what he's done with anyone else in Australian history. Winning 12 Melbourne Cups – that's a feat in itself."
James Bartholomew Cummings, racehorse trainer: born Adelaide 14 November 1927; married Valmae (one son); died Sydney 30 August 2015.Reuse content