Made for Foxtel, this one hour documentary honours the incredible career of Australia’s own ‘horse whisperer’ and arguably the greatest horse trainer this country has ever known.
Until his death in August last year, Bart Cummings ruled the Australian horse racing scene with 12 wins at the Melbourne Cup and over 260 wins across 50 years of training horses. Competing in the Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth Cups, along with the Victorian Derby, Cox Plate and other major sprints, Cummings would select and train horses to be champions when few others would consider it possible.
With a Melbourne Cup winning average of 4:1, which is the equivalent of Don Bradman’s unbeatable cricket batting average, it’s not surprising that the Cummings name is racing royalty. Bart learnt from his own father and went on to train his son who, in turn, is now seeing his own two sons up-and-coming in the racing industry.
Using modern interviews and archival footage, All the King’s Horses traces Bart Cummings success from his first win in the 1960s, through more than twenty champion horses, to his 12th Melbourne Cup victory in 2008 with a horse named So You Think. He was 81 yeas old at the time.
As the inaugural inductee into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, and recipient of an Order of Australia Medal, Cummings was awarded a State funeral when he died last year. His life had not been one of only victories however, and the documentary also touches on his struggles through a doping scandal and the financial crash of 1989 which would take him 9 years to pay off.
Originally from Adelaide, Bart Cummings is a national hero. He’s honoured here by jockeys, journalists, trainers, race commentators, track riders, an auctioneer and family. All the King’s Horses is narrated by John Tapp and is a short but interesting glimpse into the life of our racing King and the world of horse racing.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 8
All the King’s Horses: The Bart Cummings Story will be released on DVD from 18 August 2016.