Business as usual for Bart
If Bart Cummings was nervous or disappointed watching the Melbourne Cup, it didn’t show.
The master trainer watched the race from the jockeys’ weighing room at Flemington with his usual impassive expression.
Even when So You Think strode to the front to the cheers of the crowd, he knew it wasn’t over.
When it was over and Australia’s best horse had run third, he shrugged his shoulders and asked where the winner came from.
Told he was a French horse who had been bought by Australians, Cummings said: “That’s OK he’s an Aussie then.”
It was supposed to be Bart’s 13th Cup, the public demanded it.
But Cummings knows better than anyone it is a horse race and being better at training horses than anyone else, he knows things don’t always work out.
The suggestion Steven Arnold may have gone for home a little too soon, bringing back memories of Kingston Town’s defeat in 1982, was given some thought.
“Steven rode him well but I told him not to go until the clock tower, he must have got the clocks mixed up,” Cummings said.
Dispelling the notion his recent illness had taken too much out of him, he warmed to the cause.
“How much do you get for third?” he asked.
“$450,000 is that all. That’s not much out of a $6 million race.”
Cummings’ other runner Precedence finished eighth which was worth $125,000 which seemed to please him.
Asked if he heard the roar of the crowd when So You Think hit the front he replied: “Well it had no effect in the long run.”
There were no signs of the nurses and paramedics who were reported to be accompanying Cummings whose health has been front page news after he was hospitalised with a chest complaint last week.
So You Think’s owner Dato Tan Chin Nam suggested the pundits may have been right that 3200 metres was a bit too far.
“I think it is a little too long for him,” he said.
“He’s still a very great horse.”
A few minutes after the race, Cummings was looking ahead.
“I’ll be back next year,” he said.
“I’ll have some good horses then.”