Anthony Cummings is preparing to saddle up his first Everest runner and he figures his famous father Bart would approve of the innovative race concept.
While the late Bart Cummings is legendary for his record in one of Australia’s most traditional races, the Melbourne Cup, Anthony Cummings says he also recognised the important of keeping up with the times.
“He was always a fan of innovation and change and you’ve got to keep moving,” Cummings said.
“In that regard, I think he would have been in favour of it for sure.”
The Everest has been a hit since it was launched three years ago, resonating in particular with the younger demographic.
The concept of slot holders wheeling and dealing to secure the best horses has also captured the imagination.
Cummings has Libertini competing in the $15 million sprint and the mare presents with undeniable credentials despite coming up with the outside barrier at Tuesday’s draw.
She claimed the high profile scalps of Classique Legend and Nature Strip when she resumed with a barnstorming victory in the Premiere Stakes over the 1200m Everest course at Randwick.
Cummings says the mare has continued to thrive and he is enjoying the experience of having his first runner in the world’s richest race on turf.
“The money gets everyone’s attention and the format is different, and once again gets everyone’s attention,” Cummings said.
“There are so many moving parts and the whole thing changes right up until the last minute. You can’t blink because you might miss something.
“It’s as fun as the horse lets it be but right now we’ve got a place and we’ll be laughing all the way.”
Also enjoying the ride are Libertini’s owners, successful businessmen and long-time friends Gerry Harvey and John Singleton.
They left the slot negotiation to Harvey’s racing manager Luke McDonald, who after taking bids from two interested parties closed a deal with James Harron Racing.
“They’re having a good time and that’s what it’s all about, you’ve got to enjoy it,” Cummings said.
Libertini will also be chasing a slice of history in striving to become the first mare to win the Everest.
Tough gelding Redzel took out the first two runnings while Yes Yes Yes won it as a colt 12 months ago.
She is one of three mares in Saturday’s renewal along with the Chris Waller-traind Haut Brion Her and All Aged Stakes winner Tofane.