The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) unveiled The Bart Cummings Trophy Collection in Saintly Place to the delight of racegoers.
The permanent trackside display dedicated to the Cup King features 149 notable trophies and awards including the Melbourne Cup won by the Cummings-bred and trained Saintly in 1996, alongside his 12 Melbourne Cup trainer’s trophies, two Caulfield Cups won by Ming Dynasty, co owned with and bred by Lloyd Foyster who won in 1977 and 1980, and four Cox Plates won by Saintly in 1996, Dane Ripper in 1997 and So You Think in 2009 and 2010.
VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the new display, free to visit for all racegoers, was a fitting tribute to Australia’s most famous and loved horse trainer.
“We are deeply honoured and thankful to Bart and the Cummings family for bequeathing this immensely important collection to the Club,” she said.
“The collection is not only a homage to Cummings’ unparalleled feats as a trainer, but his enduring relationships with family, jockeys, owners and horses.
“It delivers a fascinating insight into his story, charting his stratospheric rise from provincial cups to the ultimate race in the world, the Emirates Melbourne Cup, and it is fitting that the collection is on show for all to see in Saintly Place, a general admission area overlooking the Flemington winning post, the scene of 83 of Cummings’ Group 1 wins.
“It is an important part of not only the Cummings family history but Australian sporting history, and it is fitting that it is housed at Flemington, the track that made Bart famous.
“I’m sure racing enthusiasts and the public alike who all knew and loved Bart will absolutely relish the opportunity to come to this beautiful racecourse and view one of the great trophy collections of the world.”
The trophies and awards had been displayed in the Cummings family home, including cabinets in the family’s formal dining room and offices at Princess Farm.
The collection includes statues made of bronze, trophies and presentation plates of sterling silver and gold, crystal pieces and silk presentation sashes.
Plans for their installation in Saintly Place were made prior to Cummings’ death in 2015 and were endorsed by Cummings.
Bart’s daughter Anne Marie Casey (nee Cummings) said the family was pleased the collection was on show for the wider public.
“We’re thrilled that Dad’s prized collection is being housed at Flemington,” said Bart’s daughter Anne-Marie. “It’s wonderful for the family to know that the public will be able to enjoy the collection for many years to come.”
“Dad may have been shy but he was fondly known as a real people’s person perhaps because he shared a love of racing with so many. I know he would be deeply honoured to know that those like him who love racing will get to share in his success.”
Cummings’ 11th Melbourne Cup winner, Rogan Josh, watched the unveiling from the Flemington front lawn, visiting from his home at Living Legends.
He was joined by Precedence, the last Cup runner for Cummings in 2014 and the first he shared with grandson James. Precedence is now enjoying a successful post-racing career as a show and is partly owned by long-time Cummings foreman Reg Fleming.
The Bart Cummings Trophy Collection is housed in Saintly Place, a general admission area named in honour of Cummings’ Flemington stable facility which operated until 2014. The stables housed the likes of So You Think, Hyperno, Let’s Elope, Viewed, Think Big, Leilani, Kingston Rule and, of course, Saintly.
The general admission area underwent a million dollar renovation in 2016 funded in partnership with the Victorian Racing Industry Fund, itself largely funded through unclaimed dividends. It is open every Flemington race day, and entry is free for all racegoers.
Check out Bart Cummings tribute here.
The picture above of Bart Cummings is with Lloyd Foyster and their dual Caulfield Cup winning horse Ming Dynasty. Ming Dynasty was bred at Gooree Horse Stud in Mudgee.
For more on Gooree Stud, click here.