Birthday boy Bart's brace
Fresh from celebrating his 82nd birthday on the weekend, Bart Cummings only needed two runners to be the star of the show at Warwick Farm on Tuesday.
King’s Pride, who started at $26, gave the master trainer a winning double when he broke an incredibly long winning drought and scored in the Sadleir Handicap (1300m) with Glyn Schofield in the saddle.
It was only the seven-year-old’s second career win from 28 starts, with his previous success coming in a 1500-metre race as a juvenile at Rosehill in July 2005.
Three races before Kings Pride’s win, stablemate Star Ripper ($3.90) made it consecutive wins with his easy victory in the Ashcroft Handicap (2200m).
Four-year-old Star Ripper, who was ridden by Peter Robl, defeated Skybound by 3-1/4 lengths with King Thing a short head away third.
Star Ripper looks set for a crack at black-type racing with the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on December 12 a possibility.
Cummings, who celebrated his birthday on Saturday, was not at Warwick Farm where his stable was represented by his foreman and grandson James Cummings who said Star Ripper had been a work in progress.
"We’ve taken what was a provincial horse to a horse who has gone out and won a city race with authority," Cummings said.
"This is his first prep as a gelding and he’s really starting to hit his straps, he’s done better with more racing but it’s been a long process for everybody at the stable.
"We’re taking things steady with him and he could develop into a Christmas Cup horse."
Star Ripper, who is part-owned by Dato Tan Chin Nam, has won two of his 10 starts.
Out of the Cummings-trained 1997 Cox Plate winner Dane Ripper, Star Ripper came into the Warwick Farm assignment following a 5-1/2 length romp at Hawkesbury in a 2000-metre race on November 5.
Tamworth based apprentice Timothy Bell continued his good form in town and this time did it for his boss, trainer Sue Grills.
Bell teamed up with his favourite horse Border Rebel who has now won his last four starts, all in Sydney, after a commanding performance to claim the Cherrybrook Welter Handicap (1000m).
Border Rebel cruised to a 1-1/4 length win over Geared Up after a hot pace was set early by Fantene.
Several jockeys arrived at the track late after a truck broke down in the M5 tunnel, blocking one of the lanes and causing extensive delays for those travelling from the city to the track in Sydney’s western outskirts.
By Russell Jackson