Cumani to Retire in December


Luca Camani, Falbrav & part-owner Luciano Salice after the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. |

Veteran trainer Luca Cumani has announced he will bring his illustrious training career to an end later this year. The legendary trainer has decided to call it a day after 43 years at Bedford House Stables in Newmarket. His countless big-race winners include two G1 Epsom Derby heroes in Kahyasi (Ire) (Ile de Bourbon) (1988) and High-Rise (Ire) (High Estate {Ire}) (1998).

Cumani told Press Association Sport, “I wouldn't say it's something I've been thinking about for a long time, but I've come to realise the time is right. I've been very lucky and privileged to have won big races all around the world and I no longer have the material to do so. I've been to Churchill Downs and Melbourne, and now we're having more runners at Wolverhampton and Chelmsford and it's not quite the same. At my age, I don't think that situation is going to change and I'm very lucky that I've been able to offer myself another job at our stud [Fittocks Stud], which is my second love after training.”

Born and raised in Italy, Cumani was assistant trainer to the late Sir Henry Cecil in his early career. His very first winner as a trainer in his own right came at group-race level, with Gianfranco Dettori –father of Frankie–steering Three Legs (GB) (Petingo {GB}) to win the G3 Duke of York S. in 1976. As well as his two Derby victories, Cumani tasted British Classic success in the 1984 G1 St Leger with Commanche Run (GB) (Run the Gantlet), who would go on to win the following year's International S. Barathea (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) was a Cumani star in the 1990s, winning the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas, the G1 Queen Anne S. and the GI Breeders' Cup Mile. In more recent years, Cumani trained the popular Falbrav (Ire) (Fairy King) to win five Group 1 races, including the Eclipse, International and QEII.

Cumani added, “I have been very lucky to have so many great days. My first winner was a group winner in the Duke of York and then we've had a St Leger winner and two Derby winners, and Barathea winning the Breeders' Cup Mile was fantastic. Falbrav was a brilliant horse for us as well.”

With his son Matt training in Australia and his daughter, Francesca, a regular presenter on ITV Racing, Cumani confirmed Bedford House will be sold at the start of next year.

He added, “Matt is in Australia and in racing terms, it really is the land of opportunity. Racing is thriving and booming there at the moment and it makes sense for him to stay there. I don't think Francesca will be giving up her job to start training any time soon, so we'll sell the yard and me and my wife Sara will live at the stud. We'll continue training until the December Sales. Some horses will be sold, some will go to other trainers and that will be the end of that. I don't like saying it's the end as no-one has died. We've just decided on a change of direction.”

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.


Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.