Set To Be Announced, James Cummings To Replace John O'Shea As Head Trainer For Godolphin!

Written on the 5 May 2017

Last week it was announced that John O'Shea was breaking his five year contract after three years as Head Australian Trainer for Godolphin.

It is believed the high-pressure demands of the role was one of the main contributors, with stables at Flemington, Warwick Farm as well as private training centres at Agnes Banks near Hawkesbury.

It is also rumoured a poor relationship with Godolphin Australia general manager, Peter Plumptre and key personnel was also a contributing factor for his decision.

Since taking over from Peter Snowden in February 2014, O'Shea has trained more than 550 winners including ten group 1 winners. This season has been O'Shea's most successful for Godolphin with the stable already banking more than $15 million in stakes and winning four group 1 races.

Once word got out about O'Shea's decision, it wasn't long until corporate bookmakers opened betting on O'Shea's successor with James Cummings, grandson of legendary Bart Cummings as favourite to take the post.

It was Cummings' absence from a recent Hawkesbury meeting that sparked rumours he was in Dubai to meet the boss of Godolphin, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

Some of the possible replacements have been brothers' Lee and Anthony Freedman, Tony McEvoy and Charlie Appleby's assistant James Ferguson, however Fox Sports understands an announcement is imminent that James Cummings has been appointed for the demanding role.

Last month, Cummings told The Daily Telegraph he had heard the rumours that he would be replacing O'Shea as Head Trainer, however he said at the time: "I have not been made an offer by Godolphin."

Cummings operates out of Randwick's Leilani Lodge, a stable made famous by Bart Cummings and has kept about 60 horses in training throughout the year.

Cummings, who trained alongside his late grandfather Bart, until his passing in 2015, has enjoyed a successful 12 months, with Prized Icon winning the Group 1 Victoria Derby and fellow three-year-old Good Standing taking out the G3 Norman Robinson Stakes.

It has come to our attention that Godolphin is in the process of streamlining its operation, includng stripping back its broodmare band, with a number sold at the Inglis Easter Sale and more to be sold at the Magic Millions Broodmare Sale in June. Earlier this year, Godolphin sold its Cootamundra Twins Hills farm to Olly Tait.

There has also been talk that Godolphin is considering employing two trainers, one each for its Sydney and Melbourne racing operations.

No doubt there will be a transition period between when O'Shea leaves and the new trainer takes over, which is what happened when O'Shea took over from Snowden.

It is still not clear as to when O'Shea will leave, however Godolphin has accepted his resignation with negotiations for a payout in process.

It is believed O'Shea will take an extended break from racing after losing a zest for the game.

(Photo: James Cummings after his horse Prized Icon won the Victoria Derby - Photo Source: Herald Sun)


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