On Melbourne Cup Day – Bart Cummings is The Master, according to Les Carlyon

by |November 1, 2011

In the world of horse racing, Bart Cummings is the master.

His astonishing tally of twelve Melbourne Cup wins arguably makes him the greatest trainer in Australia’s history and, by statistical measures, as freakish as Bradman. His laconic wit and indifference to the trappings of wealth and fame have seen him recognised as a national treasure in his own lifetime. He is one of Australia’s great characters. As Les Carlyon writes, he simply isn’t like anyone else. Cummings doesn’t come into it: to everyone he’s just Bart.

Carlyon is Australia’s most revered observer of racing. For close to forty years he has known Bart and chronicled his remarkable career. Now, in The Master, Carlyon gives us a portrait of the man, his horses and his world away from the glamour of the big race days. It shows us a Bart few have seen before. Intimate, personal, informed and captivating – The Master is loaded with stories and characters that reveal much of the character and modus operandi of Bart.

Illustrated with more than 100 photographs and paintings, The Master is a sparkling piece of storytelling by one of Australia’s most successful and acclaimed writers.

Click here to order your copy of The Master
from Booktopia, Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop.

About The Author

Les Carlyon was born in northern Victoria in 1942. He has been editor of the Melbourne Age and editor-in-chief of the Herald & Weekly Times group, as well as the winner of two Walkley Awards. His Gallipoli was published in 2001 to enormous critical and commercial success in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain, and is now widely regarded as the definitive history of the campaign. Gallipoli won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best History Book and the Australian Publishers Association Readers’ Choice Award. Les Carlyon’s The Great War was published in 2006 to universal acclaim and become one of Australia’s biggest non-fiction bestsellers.

Image from The Master

Click here for more images from The Master

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About the Contributor


  • December 9, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Great idea! I love that people don’t forget about real stars in the world of horse racing.I’m sure The Master is a great book. You captured my curiosity.

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