So here we are. Our favourite time of the year. But the star of the show is missing.
Cup week without Bart. It’s like Christmas without Santa. Sure, we’ll open the presents. But it’s not as much fun.
Those words of wisdom in the days prior. A subtle tip, for those truly listening.
What would he add to the groaning mantlepiece? A feature mile? Another Derby? Dare we dream .. another Cup?
Those more interested in hats than horses would throw a dollar or two on. The rest of us would have a safety bet. Just in case.
And now .. he’s gone. But not forgotten. There will be tributes every day. Words from the heart. We’ll think about bushy eyebrows and thoroughbreds trained to the minute.
So what would the Great Man be thinking, sipping tea at the Head Table upstairs?
I reckon he would be telling us to get on with it. He always believed that the horses were the stars. He’d be happy with the quality on show today.
Surely he’d be impressed with the raw power of Exosphere. There’d be a nod towards Mick Price, as he chases the Derby with Tarzino. But that wonderful gaze, honed over the decades, would be saved for one horse.
Check the form guide for the Group 3 Lexus, and you’ll find the famous Cummings name. Not son Anthony. Grandson James.
He’s training Ruling Dynasty. The way Bart taught him. It’s a big chance, with Tommy Berry up.
A win this afternoon, means an automatic place in the Melbourne Cup. Yep, our most famous name, could be running on Tuesday.
It’s fairytale stuff. And there’s a twist, that only racing could throw up.
It could be the other famous name, that spoils the script. Gai has Excess Knowledge humming. Those using head over heart won’t hear of him being beaten. So here we go again. Cummings V Waterhouse.
The beauty of all this? Bart would be smiling. He loved the twists and turns leading into the Cup. And if young James is successful, the roar might be bigger than we hear for the Derby.
Hold on to your hats folks. That Cummings name might be heading to Cup Day again. Maybe things haven’t changed too much after all.