RACING legend Luca Cumani is to call time on his training career at the age of sixty-nine.
The Italian maestro can count two Derby wins and a St Leger victory among his countless achievements since taking the reins at Bedford Lodge.
In a training life that has spanned four decades, Cumani has also chalked up victories in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Irish 2,000 Guineas the Coral-Eclipse and the Juddmonte International.
Although phenomenally successful, in the last few years he has struggled to get the same calibre of horse as he has in the past, and after 43 years in the sport he has finally decided to call it quits.
The trainer said: “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 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.”
His last Group 1 winner in Britain was the Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum-owned Postponed in the 2015 King George.
Only two weeks later, a ‘devastated’ Cumani lost the horse and 34 others owned by Obaid who shamefully claimed the Italian was not ‘obeying his orders’. It was a huge blow.
The unlucky trainer then found himself floundering once again in April this year when Al Shaqab sent their horses to France.
He said: “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.”
Cumani was always bound for a life in racing, with his father Sergio having been champion trainer in Italy and his mother Elena a champion amateur jockey.
His son, Matt, has done well training in Australia, while his daughter Francesca, who recently hit the headlines for partnering up with ITV colleague Oli Bell, has had a successful broadcasting career.