Cummings and Stephens are the master and apprentice
The biggest chances in this year’s Melbourne Cup have come from two extremes in their lead up to the big race. Viewed and Alcopop are two of the favourites to take out the Cup.
The former is trained by Bart Cummings with 56 years experience as a trainer, the latter trained by Jake Stephens, the new kid on the block, with only three years training experience.
Bart Cummings is a familiar face in most Australian households, with his silver hair and aviator sunglasses, while Jake Stephens is a name unfamiliar to most.
Bart learnt his trade at his father’s stables in Adelaide as a young boy and began training in 1953. Now based at Flemington, his name is synonymous with the Melbourne Cup and success comes his way in the feature races every Spring Carnival.
Most horse trainers would feel they had fulfilled their life-long ambition by winning just one Melbourne Cup, but not Bart, this year he’s hungry for his thirteenth Cup victory. With Viewed looking for its second straight Melbourne Cup, Bart also trains two other entrants in the race, Roman Emperor, who ran second to Viewed in the Caulfield Cup, and Allez Wonder, winner of the Toorak Handicap.
Jake Stephens however, only trains a small team of horses in South Australia, while he also runs 100 head of beef cattle on his family’s property south of Adelaide. Alcopop is the star horse in Jake’s stable, winning seven of its ten starts as a race horse, and remaining unbeaten in its last four races.
Good luck to both of these trainers in the Cup. It will be a great story whoever is victorious.