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Hayes And Cummings - From Adelaide To Racing Greatness

South Australia may not rival NSW and Victoria as a racing and breeding powerhouse but it has produced two of the greats of the racing industry in champion trainers Colin Hayes and Bart Cummings.

Hayes And Cummings - From Adelaide To Racing Greatness

South Australia may not rival NSW and Victoria as a racing and breeding powerhouse but it has produced two of the greats of the racing industry in champion trainers Colin Hayes and Bart Cummings.

Colin Sidney Hayes (AM; OBE) and James Bartholomew Cummings (AM) were born in the 1920s, three and a half years apart, and each grew up in the Adelaide beach side suburbs of Semaphore (Hayes) and Glenelg (Cummings).

The were raised close to Morphettville racecourse and each carved out careers in racing that saw them honoured by the nation and inducted into Australian Racing Hall of Fame.


Colin Hayes, born in February of 1924, died in May of 1999. He had graduated from a being a boilermaker to an owner, trainer and amateur rider of an $18 purchased steeplechase winner before he founded a racing and breeding empire at Angaston in South Australia’s Barossa Valley.

Bart Cummings
Bart Cummings Picture:Racing and Sports

Under the name of Lindsay Park Hayes established a family training and breeding dynasty and helped revolutionise overseas involvement in the Australian industry.

He was the father of David Hayes, one of Australia’s leading trainers and also inducted into the Hall of Fame, grandfather of Tom Dabernig (David’s training partner) and also Sam Hayes, the founder of Cornerstone Stud on part of the original Lindsay Park Stud.

Colin Hayes is recorded as having conditioned 5333 winners, including 524 in stakes races, and while headquartered in South Australia was premier Victorian trainer for 13 years in successon from 1977/78 to1989/90.

Starting at Lindsay Park but now based in Victoria, David Hayes led for the premiership for the next five years before his brother Peter ruled in 1995/96 and for three successive years from 1998/99 to 2001/02 before he was tragically killed in in a small plane crash.

Colin Hayes won two Melbourne Cups with the imports Beldale Ball for Robert Sangster’s Swettenham Stud and At Talaq in 1986 for Dubai’s Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum.

Beldale Ball was the first imported Melbourne Cup winner since Backwood (GB) in 1924.

Hayes had other Melbourne Cup placegetters but he was far outshone in the world’s most prestigious staying test by his great rival and friend Bart Cummings.

Applauded as the Cups King, Cummings is being mourned by the Australasian industry following his death at the age of 87 last Sunday at his Princes Farm in the Hawkesbury Valley near Sydney.

Princes Farm was a showplace developed originally by Sydney restauranteur, author and racing identity Jim Bendroit, owner of the fashionable Princes night club and restaurant in Sydney.

The Don Bradman of racing, Bart Cummings will be farewelled by the nation with a State Funeral in Sydney next Monday.

In 60 years of record-break training achievements Cummings will always be remembered for selecting and conditioning a record 12 Melbourne Cup winners including giants of Australian racing Light Fingers, Galilee, Red Handed, Think Big, Gold And Black, Let’s Elope and Saintly.

He bred Saintly and raced him in partnership with great friend and stables supporter Dato Tan Chin Nam, a leading Malaysian businessman who also owned other Cummings Cup winners Viewed and Think Big.

Saintly was among eight of his Cup winners sired in New Zealand but brought Cummings greater joy as he bred him using a great grandaughter of Dark Queen, a three-quarter sister to his early favourite Storm Queen, an exceptional filly bred and raced by his brother Pat Cummings while his stables were still based in Adelaide in the 1960s.

She won 13 of 20 starts with eight of her wins including the Golden Slipper, Champagne Stakes and VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, coming as a 2YO.

Storm Queen was the first of four Golden Slipper winners prepared by Cummings, the others being Tontonan (1973), Vivarchi (1976) and Century Miss (1979).

Cummings provided one of racing’s greatest moments when he won his first Melbourne Cup with Light Fingers in 1965, the pint sized mare beating her towering stablemate Ziema by a half head in a titanic finish.

Light Fingers backed up a year later to finish second to Galilee in the Cup, the second of the five times Bart supplied the first two home in the race. He also had the quinella in 1974 (Think Big/Leilani); 1975 (Think Big/Holiday Waggon); and 1991 (Let’s Elope/Shiva’s Revenge).

In the year he won his first Melbourne Cup, Bart showed his emerging genius as a trainer of stayers by also winning the Adelaide, Caulfield, Sandown, Sydney and Brisbane Cups.

Cumings first tasted Cup success when he 23 as he strapped the 1950 winner of race Comic Court for his father Jim Cummings.

An old style South Australian born horseman, Jim Cumming broke in horses at Alice Springs, rode them 1500km to Adelaide and set up as a trainer at Glenelg.

Colin Hayes with Robert Sangster
Colin Hayes with Robert Sangster Picture:Racing and Sports

Bart took over the family stables in1953 and went on to win the Victorian and South Australian training premierships three times in the same year. He ,moved to Sydney in 1975 to establish Leilani Lodge at Randwick but had to wait until 1989/90 to win his first Sydney premiership.

Cummings trained some 8000 winners including 268 G1 wins (83 at Flemington). Besides the 12 Melbourne Cups and four Golden Slippers, he won the Caulfield Cup seven times, Cox Plate five time, 33 Derbys, 20 Oaks, 11 Mackinnon Stakes, eight Newmarkets,13 Australian Cups, five Caulfield Guineas, five Thousand Guineas, seven Lightning Stakes, five Doncasters and five Stradbroke Handicaps.

Nine of his charges - Dayana,Taj Rossi, Leilani, Lord Dudley, Maybe Mahal, Hyperno, Beau Zam, Let’s Elope and Saintly - were named Australian Horse of the Year.

Besides his OAM and Australian Racing Hall of Fame induction, Cummings was accepted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and was listed in the top hundred in the National Trust Living Treasures. His image appeared on Australian postage stamps in 2007.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years Valmae, his Randwick-based training son Anthony Cummings, daughters Margaret and Anne Marie and14 grandchildren. Two grandsons, sons of Anthony, are Edward, stable foreman at Randwick for his father, and James, Bart’s training partner for nthe last two years and now left to run Leilani Lodge in his own name.

Significantly Nazir, a 4YO grey gelding by Mastercraftsman, became James Cummings’ first metropolitan winner since the death of his grandfather at Canterbury on Wednesday.

Now raced five times for two wins, he carries the colours of Dato Tan Chin Nam’s Think Big Stud and could be an emerging Cups horse, being a NZ bred representative of the first crop by Mastercraftsman from Visique, a daughter of English Derby winner Quest For Fame.

A winner in New Zealand up to 1600m Visique has two stakes winners by Thorn Park to her credit including Norzita, the Cumings-trained Australian Champion 3YO Filly in 2012/13.

Served by So You Think last year, Norzita won the G1 Flight Stakes and G1 Vinery Stud Stakes and was third in the G1 Doncaster Mile and G1 Coolmore Classic.

Nazir’s grandam Dulcinea is a half-sister by Sir Tristram’s Golden Slipper winner Marauding to 13 winners, including Zeditave and Alannon.

They are all from Summoned, an unraced mare by Crowned Prince.

Summoned’s other descendants include Jet Spur (2014-15 Champion Queensland sire), Melito (Redoute’s Choice’s Australasion Champion 3YO Filly 2009-10), Mystic Prince (Reset’s WA Derby winer) and Greys Inn (Zabeel’s South African Champion 3YO Colt).

Nazir’s sire Mastercraftsman, by Danehill Dancer, was European Champion Juvenile and a leading 3YO winning seven of 12 starts including four G1 races (Phoenix Stakes. National Stakes, Irish 2000 Guineas and Royal Ascot St James’s Palace Stakes).

Among his European progeny, now four, are his first crop G1 winners The Grey Gatsby (French Derby, Irish Champion Stakes), Kingston Hill (English St Leger, Racing Post 2YO Trophy, second English Derby) and Amazing Maria (dual G1 winner).

His first New Zealand-bred crop includes Thunder Lady (G2 Wakeful Stakes, second Victoria Oaks), Choice (Manawatu Eulogy Stakes), Upham (G2 Grand Prix), Thee Auld Floozie (Auckland Sunline Vase) and Group performers Maastricht, Say Geronimo and Stratocaster.

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