Anthony Cummings has delivered an emotional eulogy at the funeral of his legendary father Bart Cummings, saying there “hadn’t been a bridle made to hold him back”. 
 

Mourners filled Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral to farewell ‘the Cups King’ on Monday morning.

Just to highlight the reverence Cummings’ was held, he was given a state funeral that was broadcast across the nation.

Anthony gave an insight into the character of his father.

“There’s always been a bit of larrikin about dad,” he said.

“There was always a bit of fun to be had and it was that, from the early days that drew people to him.

“He was an avid reader, read papers from cover to cover and could talk on any subject knowingly, always with conviction.

“In the main his views were born of experience and were valued by many.

“I was always in awe of my father as people came to him for advice – they didn’t always like what they were told, but they got what they asked for – his view. Unequivocal, unabashed, uncensored.

“Common sense, he said, was something that wasn’t very common.”

Anthony spoke about Bart’s drive to succeed.

“One of his favourite sayings was that there was no such word as ‘no’,” he said.

“He refused to accept that something he thought should be, or should happen, didn’t.

“Find a way, step back, see what you’re looking and most importantly never give up.

“His foresight for what became his industry – thoroughbred racing – has been uncannily accurate.

“His patience with his horses and his sense of timing is legendary.”

Anthony says the place he learnt Bart best was on a yearly trip to New Zealand to look at yearlings and while some family Christmas’ were difficult after Bart delivered some “home truths”, his father had mellowed in his later days.

“The last couple of years, while the fire was still there, there was a contentment about him,” he said.

“I don’t think I had a blue with him over the last couple of years and at one stage he even told me that I’d come good – rare praise indeed.”

Anthony says his father was comfortable in the company of anyone.

“Dad spent time with kings and queens, prime ministers, premiers and the common man – treated all equally and gave them time,” he said.

“In the end, Dad was more than a horseman, an icon, a legend – all that.

“Bob Hawke described him as a great and good Australian – enough said.”