New chapter in Cummings family dynasty
As horses across the country celebrated their birthday, a fourth generation of racing’s famous Cummings family joined the training ranks.
James Cummings, 25, entered a formal training partnership with his legendary grandfather Bart, who got his first licence at the same age 60 years ago.
“We’ve been planning it for quite a while now and it’s all coming to fruition so it’s pretty special,” James Cummings said.
“It’s the right time.”
James, the son of top Randwick trainer Anthony, has been race-day spokesman for Leilani Lodge for some time, as his grandfather’s appearances at the track become increasingly rare.
His elevation to co-trainer won’t change much in his day-to-day routine, but it will bring additional responsibilities and pressures.
“There is certainly a bit more to think about but we’ll be following the same systems and routines by and large,” James said.
He knows how privileged he is to be able to learn from the best.
“Every day there is a lot to be learned from him. Something he is always big on is that you observe everything and you allow it to register on the brain.”
The James and Bart Cummings partnership will have its first runners on Saturday at Rosehill and Kembla Grange.
There were no special favours with their only city runner, Gliding, which drew the outside of a 16-horse field in the Rosehill Gardens Handicap.
It will make a fairytale start to the association more difficult, but not impossible.
“She will appreciate a drier track but she will find it hard from the wide gate,” James said.
“But she is certainly working well and she’s not without a hope.”
The Cummings team is also looking forward to the imminent return of top mare Norzita and exciting colt Eurozone.
Both will go around in barrier trials at Randwick on Friday.
Eurozone is being aimed at the Golden Rose on September 14 while Norzita’s main mission is the Cox Plate.