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Godolphin appoints James Cummings as head trainer

Tue, May 23, 2:12pm by Senior Writer

One of the world’s biggest racing stables has enlisted the next generation one of Australian racing’s great families in a bid to dominate Australian horse racing.

James Cummings, the grandson of Australia’s Melbourne Cups king, and arguably our greatest ever trainer, Bart Cummings, has signed on to be Godolphin’s head trainer in Australia.

The 29-year old has trained with his famous grandfather and then in his own right after Bart’s death in 2015.

Godolphin had been searching for a new trainer since John O’Shea confirmed he was leaving the operation in late April having spent three seasons in charge.

Cummings reportedly recently visited the Dubai to discuss his appointment with the global racing powerhouse which is headed up by Dubai’s ruler Shiekh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

They have long been a dominant force in the Middle East, Europe and America and in 2008 made a major imprint in Australia when under their Darley name, they purchased the Woodlands Stud’s racing and breeding operation.

Trainer Peter Snowden initially headed the Australian racing operation, but when he decided to go out on his own with his son Paul, O’Shea took control shortly before the Australian racing business was re-branded as Godolphin in 2014.

Under the name Darley, they remain one of the most powerful breeding outfits in Australia, but their plans to turn their on-track stars into stars at stud haven’t really materialised under O’Shea.

He won 10 Group Ones in his time in charge, but reportedly fell out with Godolphin’s Australian general manager Henry Plumptre.

Cummings now steps into the hottest seat in Australian racing with racing stables in Flemington, Warwick Farm and Hawkesbury.

“James is a great fit for Godolphin and his appointment is an exciting new chapter in the Godolphin story in Australia,” Plumptre said of the appointment.

“In a short space of time James has established himself as one of the most talented trainers in Australia and he has all the attributes to take us in the direction we want to go as a racing team both on and off the track.”

Cummings, who after winning two Group 1s when training in partnership with Bart, went on in his own right to train Prized Icon to win both the Champagne Stakes and the VRC Derby, says he is ready for the challenge.

“It is truly an honour to be asked to join the Godolphin team as the Head Trainer in Australia and I am very grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed for the opportunity,” Cummings said.

“I am confident in my experience and I definitely have the enthusiasm to build on the incredible success that has already been achieved by Godolphin in Australia.”

“I have been very fortunate in my career so far to have learnt my trade from some of the best in the business and I will be forever grateful to the fantastic and loyal owners that have supported me in my career so far, in particular Eduardo Capuano Jnr and Dato Tan Chin Nam.”

Cummings will take up his new position on July 8, while it is not known who will take over Leilani Lodge. Cummings brother Edward and father Anthony are the two most likely candidates.

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