Famous Cummings family appreciate fine history
FROM one of Australia's most successful racing dynasties, Anthony Cummings had an extra reason to enjoy yesterday's visit to Ipswich.
He appreciated the effort that has gone into building an Ipswich Racing Museum at the Ipswich Turf Club.
"Dad (legendary Melbourne 'Cups King' Bart) left all his trophies to the VRC (Victorian Racing Club) and they set them up in the museum at Flemington,'' Anthony said.
"Racing does have a rich history and you've got to give respect to that.
"A lot of people have done a lot of good work along the way.
"They have put their lives towards it and it's nice to recognise that.''
Cummings attended yesterday's museum opening before speaking at the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce luncheon that followed.
After browsing the historic items on show, Cummings enjoyed seeing exhibits such as 1994 Ipswich Cup winner Oompala, General Nediym and Strawberry Road.
"He was a racing favourite, a fantastic race horse,'' the highly regarded trainer said of Strawberry Road.
At the luncheon, Cummings spoke about some racing highlights over many decades, including his father Bart's multiple successes in the famous Melbourne Cup.
"At the end of the day, people want to hear about the Melbourne Cups and I had a little bit to do with some of them . . . about where the winners came from and sort of what made them I suppose,'' Anthony said.
In his distinguished career, Bart Cummings trained 12 Melbourne Cup winners.
Anthony and Bart's grandson James have continued the remarkable family association with the sport.
Anthony was yet to enjoy success in the annual Ipswich Cup. But as he mingled with guests, he said the Bundamba racing venue had an important role to play.
"It holds its own. It's a nice track and always offers good racing,'' he said.
"I think the locals should be proud of that.''
The Sydney-based trainer rated versatile Japan Cup placegetter Shaftesbury Avenue among his favourite horses.
"Shaftesbury Avenue was one for me that was always a bit of a standout as a young horse and he lived up to expectations (in the early 1990s),'' Cummings said.