The owner of 1999 Melbourne Cup winner Rogan Josh has remembered Bart Cummings as the man who made her dreams come true.
Wendy Green paid tribute to the `Cups King’ at a commemorative service in the Flemington mounting yard that celebrated the life of Cummings, who died on August 30, aged 87.
The service began with Bart’s 12 Melbourne Cups carried in by people wearing the colours of his Melbourne Cup winners from his first, Light Fingers in 1965, through to his last, Viewed in 2008.
His 11th winner, Rogan Josh, paraded in front of the large crowd paying its respects.
“From an owner’s perspective Bart Cummings was the man who delivered the dream,” Green said.
“He was the one that made it happen, not just for me but for many others.
“On behalf of all owners we thank you for that little bit of magic that changed our lives.”
Jockey John Marshall, who won the Cup on Rogan Josh, is one of eight jockeys to ride a Cup winner for Cummings.
“On behalf of all jockeys, JB, rest in peace,” Marshall said.
Anthony Cummings said his father had felt at home at the Flemington.
Besides his Melbourne Cup victories, Cummings also captured 13 Australian Cups, nine VRC Oaks, eight Newmarket Handicaps and five Victoria Derbies at Melbourne’s principal racecourse.
“Much was centred on this track,” Anthony said.
“Dad was never more comfortable than walking the length and breadth of the Flemington straight.”
Noted journalist and author Les Carlyon said Cummings’s was part of the folklore and the story of the Melbourne Cup.
“Flemington racecourse and Bart go together like the moon and the stars,” Carlyon said.
He said Cummings was known for patience with horses and was more than a horse whisperer.
“Bart was a horse intellect,” he said.
Melbourne racecaller Greg Miles said it was fitting the service was at the racecourse that hosts the Melbourne Cup.
“When you think of Bart you think of the Melbourne Cup and when you think of the Melbourne Cup, you think of Bart,” Miles said.
A video montage was played at the end of the service as balloons in Cummings’s green and gold colours were released.
Appropriately there were 268 balloons – representing one for each Group One winner Cummings trained.