Racehorse trainers are not usually honoured with state funerals but such is the stature of Bart Cummings he will be farewelled by people from all walks of life in Sydney on Monday.
There have been many tributes to Cummings in the week since he died aged 87 with many racegoers paying homage to him at Randwick on Saturday.
Many will also turn up at St Mary’s Cathedral along with people from all walks of life who know him as the “Cups King” for his record 12 wins in Australia’s most famous race, the Melbourne Cup.
Cummings’ 10th Cup winner Saintly, who lives on the trainer’s Princes Farm on the outskirts of Sydney, was a star attraction at the Randwick race meeting.
The 23-year-old patiently stood in his stall for photo opportunities and was paraded on the track before the JB Cummings Ming Dynasty Quality, a race named for his dual Caulfield Cup winner.
As well as his 12 Melbourne Cup wins, Cummings garnered another 256 Group One trophies, a number bettered only by the late TJ Smith.
The son of a Melbourne Cup winning trainer, Jim Cummings, Bart spent his life around horses, beginning his career in South Australia before moving to Melbourne and then Sydney.
A naturally shy man, Cummings perfected the art of the one-liner, mainly to keep journalists at bay.
He reserved his affections for his family and the horses he loved.
Although he had five children, only one, Anthony, followed him into racing and has become a leading trainer in his own right and his sons James and Edward are continuing the tradition.
James was his grandfather’s training partner when Cummings stepped away from the day-to-day stable life in his later years while Edward is the foreman for their father.