Famous Racing Families

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Thoroughbred racing is a game loved by many, many people in Australia, from those heavily involved professionally, to those who enjoy an occasional flutter on a Saturday, and everyone in between.

We caught up with prominent Tasmanian jockey and trainer Sigrid Carr earlier this week, whose family has enjoyed decades of success in the Australian thoroughbred industry.

There are plenty of families who have passed on a wealth of knowledge, experience and success through generations of thoroughbred participation, and with that in mind, we thought it would be fun to highlight a few famous racing families.

The Cummings’

The first is a pretty obvious one – The Cummings Family.

Of course, twelve-time Melbourne Cup winner and champion horseman Bart is the first name that springs to mind when the surname ‘Cummings’ is muttered, but the Cups King wasn’t the first of his name to find success.

His father, Jim Cummings enjoyed a glittering career of his own, famously saddling 1950 Melbourne Cup winner Comic Court. Of his father, Bart famously said “I had the best of teachers. My dad had a lot of experience behind him, and I picked up from him by watching, listening and keeping my mouth shut.”

Bart’s son Anthony is a multiple Group 1 winning trainer based at Randwick, his grandson Ed saddled his first Group 1 winner with Duais in the 2021 Queensland Oaks, while his other grandson James heads up the Australian arm of global racing giant Godolphin.

The Waterhouses

Gai Waterhouse remains one of the most recognisable and prominent individuals in Australian racing, and she has been responsible for plenty of colour, skill and storylines for several decades.

Gai pursued a career in showbusiness earlier in her life, but the racing pedigree rushing through her veins simply proved too much, and she returned to work under her legendary father, TJ Smith.

A seven-time Ladbrokes Cox Plate winner, Smith was a titan of Australian thoroughbred racing, dominating the Sydney circuit throughout his career and training out of the famed Tulloch Lodge.  

Gai’s husband and son have strong ties to the bookkeeping industry, and their overall family influence can be found almost everywhere.

The Hayes’

Colin Hayes is considered alongside the likes of Bart Cummings and TJ Smith as one of the greatest-ever Australian thoroughbred trainers, and his legacy has been passed onto several generations.

Hayes saddled an incredible 5,333 winners, including 524 black type winners throughout his career, winning many training premierships in Adelaide and Melbourne.

His son, David Hayes, has experienced huge success of his own in Australia and now holds a training licence in Hong Kong, while his grandsons Tom Dabernig, Ben & JD Hayes are also beginning to enjoy plenty of accolades with teams based in Victoria.

The Freedmans   

It’s difficult to look into a racebook anywhere in New South Wales or Victoria these days without saying the name Freedman published.

Together, four brothers Lee, Anthony, Michael and Richard have saddled some of Australia’s best-ever gallopers to glory in some of Australia’s and the world’s biggest races.

The family’s roots in racing stretch further than the famous four brothers, however, and their great grandfather Bill McLachlan rode the Melbourne Cup winners of 1909, 1910 and 1917.

All four brothers are still training; Lee, having just returned from a brief stint in Singapore, is setting up in Queensland. Anthony is training alongside son Sam and enjoying big success, while Richard and Michael are also training in partnership, and saddled Stay Inside to success in the 2021 Golden Slipper.

Richard’s son Will also runs a training operation based in Scone, country New South Wales.

The Trinders

Prominent Tasmanian horseman Adam Trinder has enjoyed plenty of success in recent years and announced himself to the greater Australian racing fraternity as the trainer of Mystic Journey.

Mystic Journey won some good races in the Apple Isle at the beginning of her career and in 2019, arrived on the mainland for consecutive wins in the Group 1 Australian Guineas and the All-Star Mile.

Adam is, however, the third generation of his family involved in the thoroughbred industry, the son of Michael and grandson of Ray, all three of whom have been inducted into Tasmania’s Racing Hall of Fame.

Ray was a successful trainer in his own right, winning many feature races as well as owning 1972 Melbourne Cup winner Piping Lane, while Michael famously trained four AV Hiskens Steeples at The Valley, along with two Devonport Cup winners.

The Gollans

Queensland’s leading trainer Tony Gollan was born and bred into the racing industry, and it’s no real surprise that he has become extremely successful.

A multiple Group 1 winner, Gollan’s biggest success has a trainer came by way of the Boom Brothers, who won a combined twenty races, including three Group 1 features for more than $4 million.

Gollan’s father, Darryl, was a successful horseman and trainer based in Toowoomba who had a knack for producing talented juveniles, and won an impressive eight Pat O’Shea Plates.

The Warwicks

The Warwick are as synonymous with horses in the West as Bob Peters and William Pike, and their involvement spans generations… and codes!

Lucy Warwick has ridden winners at Perth’s major race meetings for several years now, and famously piloted Material Man to success in the Perth Cup (along with several other feature races) and three placings at Group 1 level for trainer father, Justin.

Justin Warwick has etched an impressive record as a metro trainer in Perth throughout the last decade, but prior to that, he was an established harness racing trainer and driver. Lucy’s mother, Carol, was a top-class showjumper.

Justin’s father, Trevor, was a harness racing legend in the nation’s west, and the family’s success at the highest level of many codes over a long period of time really does underline their industry pedigree.  

The Carrs

Siggy Carr is one of the most likeable identities in Australian racing, whether she is riding or saddling winners.

Racing runs deep in her family’s history, but don’t take our word for it – hear from Siggy Carr herself in the video above!