Along with thoroughbreds and jockeys, trainers are a critical cog in the wheel of racing success.
From astute horse experts who took an unwanted colt or filly and produced a great champion, to those who have amassed thousands of victories at every level of racing, trainers are the driving force of Australian racing, working for the most part behind the scenes and only gaining notoriety when the horses they have trained and the racing strategies they devised are successful.
Many have risen through the ranks as strappers and stable hands that have learned their craft at the hands of their predecessors, working long hours under difficult conditions for a pittance.
Some are former jockeys who could not bear to leave the sport they loved even after many years in the saddle. Still others earned their credentials at obscure country tracks over the course of years before finally being recognized for their contributions and taking their rightful places on the major stages of Flemington and Randwick.
Here is where you can read about the men and women who have transformed the sport of Australian horse racing from its humble beginnings to the exalted status it occupies today.
Bart Cummings: Cups King
Bart Cummings, by winning an unprecedented 12 Melbourne Cups as a trainer, has exceeded the combined output of the second two men on the list, Etienne de Mestre and Lee Freedman. Bart Cummings has more than doubled the group 1 wins of his nearest competitor Freedman and combining the totals for the three closest pursuers is required to surpass him in this category.
Colin Hayes: Australian Horse Racing Trainer
The surname Hayes is synonymous with great thoroughbred trainers that have displayed dominance on Australian turf. An inaugural inductee to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2001, dad Colin was followed by son David Hayes in 2008, the only father/son duo to be so recognized.
David Hayes: Australian Horse Trainer
One of the most formidable trainers in the history of Australian racing is undoubtedly David Hayes, son of the Colin Hayes the legendary trainer. The winner of numerous premierships in Melbourne and Adelaide, David is renowned for his ability to churn out champion two-year-olds.
Gai Waterhouse: Horse Racing Trainer
Gai Waterhouse. Following in the footsteps of a successful parent has always proved difficult. It is made even more problematic when the venue being considered is one that so dominates public awareness and also provides elaborate statistical evidence to facilitate comparisons.
James Cummings: Australian Trainer
James Cummings - Is it luck, or hard work or is it in the genes? When your grandfather is known as the “King of Cups'' and has won more races with his horses than almost everybody else, and you want a career which involves working with horses, what do you do?
John Hawkes: Australian Trainer
The history of Australian horse racing is rich in stories of horses, owners, trainers and jockeys that have made contributions to the sport worthy of being preserved for future generations. John Hawkes is one of these persons.
Lee Freedman: Australian Racing Trainer
When great thoroughbred horse trainers is the subject, David Lee Freedman absolutely must be a significant portion of the discussion. Five Melbourne Cup victories are more than adequate credentials, all else aside.
TJ Smith: Horse Trainer Australian
TJ Smith was born 3rd September 1916 in New South Wales. He was compelled at the age of 7 to work for his father driving draft teams and breaking horses, so he never received much in the way of schooling. He did develop a love of riding at this early age and dreamt of becoming a jockey.