Cummings clash one for the history books
THE Cummings clan will clash for the first time in the same race at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Edward Cummings, the latest family member to take out a trainer's licence, saddles up Sunborn in the $2 million Inglis Millennium (1100m).
Sunborn's opposition includes Godolphin's unbeaten colt, Marnix, trained by Edward's brother, James.
Their father, Anthony, is also represented in the feature two-year-old race with first emergency Fayerra gaining a start after the withdrawal of Supreme Idea.
Edward Cummings is a fourth-generation trainer of the most famous family in Australian racing history.
His grandfather, the legendary Bart Cummings, trained a record 12 Melbourne Cups winners among his extraordinary 266 Group 1 successes.
Bart's father, Jim, was also a successful trainer, best known for preparing champion Comic Court to win the 1950 Melbourne Cup.
Edward was in a training partnership with Anthony until he branched out on his own about a year ago and never before has he had to compete against his father and brother.
"This is the first time we have all had runners in the one race,'' Edwards said.
"Dad's filly (Fayerra) is a nice horse and comes out of a strong form race last start. James's colt (Marnix) won well at his only start at Geelong and is going to be hard to beat.
"This will be an interesting race.''
In early Ladbrokes fixed odds betting, Marnix is the most favoured of the Cummings family runners at $15, behind dominant favourite Cellsabeel at $1.55. Sunborn is at $61 and Fayerra is out to $91.
Sunborn's trainer isn't deterred by the filly's generous odds, believing her form has been underrated.
An impressive winner on debut over the Newcastle 900m course, Sunborn then ran on well to finish a close fifth to Wild Ruler in the Inglis Nursery in December.
"I thought her run was as good as the winner's,'' Edward said. "I'm reasonably excited about her prospects (Saturday) and for the autumn carnival.''
Sunborn hasn't raced since the Inglis Nursery, but Edward gave her a "soft" trial at Rosehill last week.
"She has some residual fitness from her December campaign plus she is a natural two-year-old and natural athlete,'' the trainer said. "I'm very confident she is fit enough for this race.''
Even the likelihood of taking on Cellsabeel on a rain-affected track surface for the Inglis Millennium doesn't deter Cummings.
"We are all in the same boat,'' the trainer said. "Plenty of Golden Slippers are run and won on wet tracks so we are going to know if she handles it going into the autumn carnival.
"If she ends up targeting the better two-year-old races through autumn what better horse to come up against than the Slipper favourite to get a decent barometer on where we stand. I'm relishing the challenge.''
Edward is slowly building his training business and now has 17 in work at his Hawkesbury stable presence.
He has no regrets about making the decision to pursue his own training ambitions when the easier option would have been to stay in a partnership with his father.
"We had a slow start, which was to be expected during that introductory period, but our horses are coming good and all running consistently now,'' he said.
"Only last week, Vendome had his first start for the stable and won at Bathurst. When we purchased the horse, our long range plan was to head towards the Provincial Championships and he has ticked that first box by winning last week.''
Sunborn, who cost just $58,000 at the Inglis Classic Sale last year, is the star of his emerging stable, is also a reminder of his family's past successes.
The promising two-year-old filly is by Casino Prince, the former outstanding racehorse Anthony Cummings trained to win five races including the 2008 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes, plus placings in the Doncaster Handicap, George Ryder Stakes, All Aged Stakes and Australian Guineas, earning more than $1.16 million in prize money.
"At that time, I was going to the races with Dad, doing a few odd jobs around the stables, and Casino Prince was the stable's flagship horse,'' Edward said.
"His Doncaster second is indelibly marked in my mind - he was a great horse.
"Casino Prince was probably the horse that really ignited my passion for racing.''