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Former Melbourne Cup Winner, Saintly, Dies Age 24

Written on the 16 December 2016

Champion racehorse galloper, Saintly, who won the Melbourne Cup and the Cox Plate in 1996, has died aged 24.

Saintly, was only the fourth horse at the time to win the Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate in the same year, joining the likes of Phar Lap (1930). He was crowned 1997 Australian Horse of the Year during the 1996/97 season. Unfortunately retirement was forced upon him in the following year due mostly to injury.

His first Group 1 success came earlier in 1996 when as a 3yo, he toppled the older horses at weight-for-age in the Australian Cup before his memorable clashes with Octagonal, Filante and Nothin' Leica Dane in the Rosehill Guineas and Australian Derby. He was also triumphant in the CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield in 1997.

In total, Saintly won 10 of his 23 starts, four at Group 1 level, with earnings of more than $3.8 million.

Anthony Cummings, whose late father Bart, trained Saintly, paid tribute to the gelding when he announced his death on Thursday afternoon.

"Saintly, the horse from heaven, has gone home. He gave us so much," he Tweeted.

Saintly lived out his retirement years at the Cummings family property at Princes Farm, at the foot of the Blue Mountains on the banks of the Nepean River.

For a little bit of personal nostalgia... Terry and Amy from Team Thoroughbreds remember the day Saintly won the Melbourne Cup well. They were at the Sunshine Coast Racecourse and Amy had backed Saintly to Win. Terry and Amy had just begun a relationship together which later resulted in wedding bells.


(Photo of Bart Cummings with Saintly after the Melbourne Cup win. Photo Credit: Steve Hart)

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Authorised Representative
(AR 001 272 774) under the TTSC's AFSL (288-213)