The chances of another Cummings becoming the 3rd member of Australian racing’s elite Melbourne Cup family to actually train a Melbourne Cup winner, took a dramatic turn today.
Cummings, Anthony that is, and not his sons James or Edward, was today announced the trainer of central European wonder horse NANCHO.
And while rank and file Aussie punters may never have heard of Nancho (Tai Chi-Nantana) those who have, revere him.
He is German-born, but raced primarily in Hungary. And he has been described as a freak of nature over there.
Thus far Nancho, who cost just 9000 euros as a yearling (roughly $14,900 Aussie) has raced 18 times and won 11 of them. He’s placed another 3 times but it was his trip away from Hungary to the staying strong hold of Germany that caught the attention of some cashed up Aussies who love to buy European horses.
He took on Germany’s best in the 2400m Gr 1 Grosser Preis von Bayern at Munich, and after dashing away from the field as they turned, he hung tough to win it by half a length. He had gone to Germany for the race much hyped but German and world racing fans noted the hype was coming from Hungary, a territory not known for producing good race horses.
And they scoffed at his pedigree too.
His sire Tai Chi, a son of High Chaparral, was a Gr 3 winner but he was Gr 1 placed in France.
While his mother, Nantana, won 3 low key races in Germany and is a daughter of a mare who won just one low key race. Until Nancho arrived there wasn’t much Black Type to boast in the family tree. Hence the lowly price at yearling time.
But that’s all changed now for the 5YO stallion who many in Germany now compare to 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist.
The deal between Australian owners and the Hungarian owners was brokered by well-known European bloodstock agent, Holger Faust.
He would not disclose the sum the horse was purchased for but did say, “At the end of the day none of that matters. Not his pedigree, or yearling price either.
“He has won his last 10 race starts and what he did in Germany against the best horses available, and we had English runners from Ralph Beckett’s stable in there too, as well as Ashrun who had French Group-winning form to her credit, was just outstanding.
“He has done all his winning over different types of tracks and distances, so to me he is a monster, and an extraordinary horse.”
Faust was very aware of Protectionist and his Melbourne Cup win.
“In my opinion Nancho could be a Melbourne Cup horse. He has proven to be one of the best horses to run in Germany.
“I don’t see a big difference in class between Protectionist when he was running in Germany and what Nancho did in his two outings.”
Nancho arrives in Australia in April.