Luca Cumani to retire after 43-year career

Two-time Derby-winning trainer Luca Cumani to retire after 43-year career

  • Legendary Newmarket handler Luca Cumani will make this season his last
  • The Italian, 69, will instead concentrate on managing the affairs of Fittocks Stud 
  • Cumani trained a host of top horses during a period encompassing two decades
  • Kahyasi and High-Rise enjoying Derby successes in 1988 and 1998 respectively

Legendary Newmarket handler Luca Cumani will make this season his last as a trainer by calling time on his illustrious career later this year.

The Italian, 69, will instead concentrate on managing the affairs of Fittocks Stud, an operation he owns and runs alongside wife Sara.

Cumani trained a host of top horses during a halcyon period encompassing two decades in the 1980s and 1990s, with headline horses Kahyasi and High-Rise enjoying Derby successes in 1988 and 1998 respectively.

Legendary Newmarket handler Luca Cumani will make this season his last as a trainer

Legendary Newmarket handler Luca Cumani will make this season his last as a trainer

Those victories followed a landmark victory in the 1984 St Leger with the Lester Piggott-ridden Commanche Run, while there was also big-race foreign glory courtesy of 1988 Canadian International winner Infamy, Alkaased in the 2005 Japan Cup and Presvis, who landed the 2011 running of the Dubai Duty Free. 

In all, Cumani’s 43-year career yielded a staggering 124 group race wins, 32 of them at the top level.

Bedford Lodge Stables has continued to produce a steady stream of winners since the turn of the century, but the star quality has dissipated, encouraging Cumani to move in a different direction. 

The Italian, 69, will instead concentrate on managing the affairs of Fittocks Stud

The Italian, 69, will instead concentrate on managing the affairs of Fittocks Stud

He said: ‘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’ve been to Churchill Downs and Melbourne, and now we’re having more runners at Wolverhampton and Chelmsford and it’s not the same. 

At my age, I don’t think that situation is going to change and I’m very lucky I’ve been able to offer myself another job at our stud (Fittocks Stud), which is my second love after training.’

Cumani ruled out the prospect of son Matt, a trainer in Australia, taking over and the stables will go on the market.

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