Looking right at home, Saintly has taken centre stage at Randwick as part of a tribute to the man who took him to his famous Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup double 19 years ago.
The 23-year-old gelding is a resident of Princes Farm where his trainer Bart Cummings died last Sunday.
Saintly, dubbed the “Horse from Heaven” in his racing days because of his name and deeply religious jockey Darren Beadman, was brought back to his former home as part of the Australian Turf Club’s tribute to the master trainer.
Beadman and James Cummings, who has taken over Leilani Lodge following his grandfather’s death, flanked Saintly who nonchalantly took a few bites of the Randwick turf then calmly stood still while racegoers observed a minute’s silence.
The Group Three JB Cummings Ming Dynasty Quality honoured the trainer and another of his stars, dual Caulfield Cup winner and subsequent clerk of the course’s horse at Randwick.
It was won by Metallic Storm, prepared by Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller and ridden by the evergreen Jim Cassidy, Melbourne stable jockey for Cummings in the mid-1980s.
“It is special to win the race named in his honour,” Cassidy said.
“I was honoured being asked to be Bart’s stable jockey in Melbourne in the mid-80s.
“I won the triple crown for fillies on Tristanagh – the Thousand Guineas, the Wakeful and the Oaks.
“He was a great man.”
Special flags denoting the Cummings’ silks of green and gold diagonal stripes flew around the course, while Tim Clark sported the same colours worn by Saintly when he rode Precedence in the Group Two Chelmsford Stakes.
The black and white checks with yellow sleeves belong to Dato Tan Chin Nam, a long-time friend and supporter of Cummings.
The 10-year-old couldn’t produce a fairytale finish but he showed he was on track for his fifth start in the Melbourne Cup with a solid 10th, 6-3/4 lengths from the winner Complacent, on an unsuitable soft track.
A state funeral will be held for Cummings in Sydney on Monday.