Apr 20

Bart Cummings checks in to give Precedence tick of approval for Melbourne Cup

Good to go: Patrick Hogan and Bart Cummings run their eyes over Precedence on Monday.Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all RacingFull coverage: Melbourne Cup 2014Melbourne Cup sweep

The first thing Bart Cummings wanted to check on Monday morning was his horse for the Melbourne Cup. Precedence stood in his box, head in his feed bin as Bart and owner Sir Patrick Hogan peered in and looked at him.

Co-trainer James Cummings waited for the verdict from the legend, who will turn 87 next week.

“He turned to me and gave his seal of approval,” James Cummings said. “He said ‘he looks in good nick, but he always looks in good nick. We will find out if he is good enough tomorrow’.

“He was just happy to be there with Sir Patrick and it has given him a real lift coming down here.”

Bart Cummings is part of the fabric of the Melbourne Cup. His record of winning it on 12 occasions is remarkable but add the fact he has also quinellaed it five times, it shows why he is called the ‘Cups king’.

“Whenever I talk to him he wants to know how the Melbourne Cup horse is going. It really sparks him,” Cummings said. “It is a very special race to him and he wanted to be here.

“This time of year you really get to know how much he means to racing.”

In total, Precedence will be Cummings’ 89th Cup runner, a record that will never be equalled. His dozen winners have complemented by six seconds and four thirds.

On Tuesday, Precedence will become the first horse to run in four Cups for Cummings. The only other runner to start in three Melbourne Cups for Bart was 1979 winner Hyperno.

The nine-year-old has history against him, no horse of that age has saluted in the Melbourne Cup but he remains the sentimental favourite. Although his price was $61 on fixed odds, he was just $32.70 in the TAB market with more than $700,000 in the pool on Monday afternoon.

“You can see the once-a-year punters want to be on him, just look at the tote, it’s half his fixed odds price,” Tab’s Glenn Munsie said. “Everyone seems to want to be on the dream result of Bart winning the Cup again. Even in our book he is the third worst way behind Who Shot Thebarman and Fawkner in strictly win bets, and is a loser.”

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