James Alexander Cummings is a fourth generation racehorse trainer in the Cummings dynasty, following in the footsteps of great grandfather Jim, grand-father Bart (James Bartholomew) and father Anthony.
Born and raised in Sydney, James attended St Joseph’s College before going on to study Agricultural Economics at the University of Sydney.
James began working as a stable hand for his father when he was 13-years-old and his love affair for the racing game only grew from there. It was during his time at University that he felt the strong pull towards a full-time career in the racing industry.
To broaden his knowledge of horses and explore his passion, James relocated to the heart of the breeding industry and worked at Patinack Farm working in nominations and with the stallion and breeding teams.
In late 2006, James was offered his first managerial position as a junior foreman within his father Anthony’s Randwick-based racing stable, which at the time was home to the likes of Duporth and Casino Prince.
In 2009, James became Foreman at Leilani Lodge under the tutelage of his grandfather Bart. James attributes a great deal of his experience from his time spent working side-by-side with the master trainer while preparing an impressive yard of racehorses including So You Think , Dariyana, Faint Perfume, Empress Rock, Rock Classic, Allez Wonder, Precedence, Roman Emperor, Norzita and Eurozone.
In the 2013-2014 racing season the stable reached a new record of 265 Group I winners.
James was granted his New South Wales Metropolitan Trainer’s license in 2013 and after four years spent learning from one of the best in the business, entered into a training partnership with Bart on August 1 2013.
The winners continued to flow for the co-trainers and the 2014 Golden Rose marked the first Group I title for the partnership with Hallowed Crown. The colt then went on to secure a second Group I win in the Randwick Guineas before retiring to stud at Darley Australia’s Kelvinside property.
In 2014, James married his sweetheart Monica Barrera. Family is extremely important to the couple and the environment at Leilani Lodge soon became an extension of this with Monica providing an important support role for not only James as a trainer but the company as a whole.
By August 2015, James and Monica had welcomed their daughter Adeline into the world.
Sadly, on August 30 2015, James Bartholomew Cummings passed away in his sleep at his beloved Prince’s Farm homestead, surrounded by his family. At the Wyong race meeting on the day of Bart’s passing, the stable produced a winning double and two placings with Anthony Cummings also taking out a double. There is no doubt from either team that Bart pulled some strings that day!
James continues to train at Leilani Lodge, carrying on the extraordinary legacy of one of racing’s greatest ambassadors. He looks forward to chasing plenty of Group I titles of his own, for many years to come.