Bart Cummings has been remembered as the “king of the Melbourne cup” and a “legend of the track” by Australia’s politicians.
Tributes are pouring in for the record-breaking race horse trainer who passed away in his sleep in the early hours of Sunday at the age of 87.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott tweeted: “So sad to learn of the death of Bart Cummings, legend of the track and giant of the sport”.
Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten said on twitter, a “legend of the turf has left us”.
“Rest in peace Bart Cummings. Our heartfelt sympathies to Bart’s family and friends.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Cummings was the “king of the Melbourne cup”.
“Every Victorian, indeed every Australian, would be saddened today to hear about the passing of Bart Cummings – a giant, an icon, of racing,” he said.
“I’d be very surprised if the racing community, the VRC and others, don’t see fit to give someone who was the king of the Melbourne cup, as he’s sometimes known, a proper send off.
“Melbourne cup day would be the perfect time to do that.”
Victorian racing minister Martin Pakula said Cummings’ feat of training 12 Melbourne Cup-winning horses would never be forgotten and, most likely never surpassed.
“Bart Cummings stands alongside Don Bradman as the greatest name in Australian sport,” Mr Pakula said.
“Bart won everything there was to win in racing, he fought back from adversity, and with his dry wit and his quiet way, he told racing’s story.”
NSW Racing Minister Troy Grant said Cummings also had success over the border, winning four Golden Slippers in NSW amongst his 250 Group One winners.
“He was one of Australia’s favourite racing sons and sporting greats, and the entire industry and race going public will mourn the loss of this great man,” Mr Grant said.