Legend of the Week #16: Bart Cummings/Legend of the Month August 2015

And, in a neat little coincidence, the Monday for Legend of the Week is also the last day of the month, making it easier to write it out.

And the Legend of the Week is Bart Cummings.

Born in Adelaide in November 1927, Bart spent a lifetime with horses, despite being allergic to them and hay.

Racing is in his family’s blood. His father, Jim, was an accomplished trainer who won the 1950 Melbourne Cup, while his grandson, James, looks set to inherit the Cummings empire.

I was amazed at Bart Cummings when I read about his stats. In the leadup to the 2011 Melbourne Cup, my dad bought home The Age (so, not that other newspaper). It had the top three finishers in every Melbourne Cup, heading back to the 1850s.

And I saw B Cummings 12 times.

No-one has coached a team to the AFL premiership twelve times (Jock McHale has the most with seven for Collingwood). No-one has coached twelve NBA championships (Phil Jackson coached Chicago and the Lakers to 11).

The only person who can even compare is Alex Ferguson. But he was coaching Manchester United. I could win a title coaching Manchester United.

To be able to know the countless nuances of training horses, to be able to bring the most out of one in a gruelling 3,200 metre race, and getting it first past the post twelve times?

Bart Cummings could well be the greatest manager/coach/trainer of any sport, ever.

For this, he not only gains Legend of the Week, but Legend of the Month as well.

And we salute you.

R.I.P Bart.



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