VRC Chairman Michael Burn paid tribute to Bart Cummings AM, who passed away aged 87 in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“Bart Cummings was a dear friend of the VRC and we extend our sincere condolences to Valmae and the entire Cummings family,” Mr Burn said.
“In the sport of kings, Bart Cummings stands alone. He was the Cups King and his record is peerless.
“Bart’s legacy simply cannot be overstated. It takes a truly remarkable person to achieve all that he did. He was not only an exceptional horseman but a gentleman, understated and modest, and with a tremendous intellect and great wit.
“Most trainers dream of winning a Group 1 race; Bart won 268. At Flemington alone he registered an astonishing 83 Group 1 victories.
“Bart strapped his father’s Melbourne Cup winner Comic Court in 1950 and notched his first Cup win of his own in 1965 with Light Fingers. His life and the history of the race have been intertwined ever since.
“His 12 Melbourne Cup victories will almost certainly never be matched, ensuring his legacy lives alongside Bradman’s as a high water mark in Australian sporting history.
“The Emirates Melbourne Cup is a cultural institution as much as a sporting event, and it simply wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for Bart.
“With 13 Australian Cups, 11 Mackinnon Stakes, nine VRC Oaks, eight Newmarket Handicaps and six Victoria Derbies, his records extend far beyond the Melbourne Cup.
“The VRC recently announced that the winner of The Bart Cummings, a staying race named after the Cups King run on Turnbull Stakes Day, will gain automatic entry into the Emirates Melbourne Cup. Bart was completely supportive of this change.
“Fittingly, Bart’s final runner, Sultry Feeling, was a winner, saluting at Rosehill yesterday.”