King' Bart Cummings has carved a legendary reputation as a trainer of
racehorses, but he's not half bad as a breeder either, so when he decides to
stand a stallion at his Princes Farm we should probably take an interest.
When Group I AJC Australian Derby winner Roman Emperor was retired from racing last year it was assumed he would find a home at stud somewhere as a blue-blooded classic winning son of champion sire Montjeu (IRE), but finding a buyer for the stallion proved a hard task and as a result he has been given his chance by one of the best judges in the business.
Bought as a yearling by Bart Cummings for $240,000 from the Little Avondale draft at the 2007 NZB Premier Yearling Sale, Roman Emperor shot to fame when winning the AJC Derby and then followed up with a fine second to Viewed in the Caulfield Cup.
Interviewed by Caroline Searcy for TVN's Thoroughbreds program this week, Bart revealed he had 'liked him as a yearling and liked him as a racehorse… he hasn't disappointed me yet so why not stand him as a stallion'.
Roman Emperor (pictured with Cummings above and left, images by Caroline Searcy) covered a small book of 13 mares last year, mostly owned by Cummings, but this year will be offered on a more commercial basis, his fee set at $9,900.
Those breeders contemplating sending a mare to Roman Emperor, would be well served to remember that 'Bart the breeder' is no stranger to success and one of his best ever horses Saintly was bred by Cummings from a mating between one of his mares and a horse that he trained, but was hardly considered a commercial sire, in Sky Chase.
Can Roman Emperor give Bart his 13th Melbourne Cup winner?
Time will tell, but you wouldn't want to be betting against!
Tune in to Thoroughbreds tonight at 7.30 pm to catch Bart Cummings and Roman Emperor at Princes Farm and next week for part two when Bart talks on a wide range of topics.