CUMMINGS FAMILY RACING ALLIANCE IN LIMBO
Wednesday, 4 December 2013:
James Cummings insists his horse racing training partnership with his famous grandfather Bart can be saved.
Responding to speculation of a major rift between the pair, James says he is confident they can resolve the differences that have divided one of Australia's best-known racing families.
Representing the stable at Canterbury races on Wednesday, James refused to speak about reports the Leilani Lodge partnership will be wound up on December 31.
Instead, he earlier issued a statement via his website, saying: "I wish to make it clear that this issue is a family matter that can be resolved."
Racing NSW deputy chief steward Greg Rudolph confirmed James Cummings had contacted stewards over the matter.
"We are going to monitor their attempts to try to work on a solution to remain in training together without splitting at this stage," Rudolph said.
No formal application has been made to dissolve the partnership.
If either party did wish to terminate the agreement before the end of the year, an application would have to be made immediately because a Racing NSW licensing committee is due to meet on Thursday.
Rudolph said any dissolution of the partnership could be complicated by a lack of available boxes if James decided to branch out on his own.
The family training partnership was formed amid much publicity at the start of the 2013-2014 Australian racing season.
James worked as a Sydney foreman for his grandfather for four years before stepping up as co-trainer in August.
A confident horseman, he recently announced his engagement to Monica Barrera, a granddaughter of Eduardo Cojuangco Jr, chairman of food and beverage giant San Miguel Corporation.
Barrera manages her grandfather's impressive string of racehorses under the Gooree Stud banner.
Bart Cummings has trained 266 Group One winners and Leilani Lodge at Randwick has been the hub of his Sydney operation for more than 30 years.
Long-time stable supporter Dato Tan Chin Nam is adamant the issues between Bart and James are minor and easily sorted out.
"Dato feels the damage is not irreversible and it has become a mountain out of a molehill," a statement from his racing manager Duncan Ramage said.
"Dato feels the family will sort out their differences and should be left to do so. He states that blood is thicker than water."