Check mates: Cups legacy of Bart and Dato rides on with Carif - DGR Thoroughbred Services

Check mates: Cups legacy of Bart and Dato rides on with Carif

and Dato rides on with Carif

The famous chess board silks of Dato Tan Chin Nam will again grace Flemington on the first Tuesday in November as Carif gives the Melbourne Cup a link back to the Cups King, Bart Cummings.

It has been six years since Cummings died, but his influence over the Melbourne Cup will continue when six-year-old Carif takes to the track in a race he was destined to run in.

“When he was born, Bart was no longer with us, but he has a strong link to Dato and Bart,” Chin Nam’s racing manager Duncan Ramage said. “He is by So You Think, which we bought in 2008, out of Norzita, which we all bought together in 2011, and they combined won 12 group 1s between them.

“Norzita was the last group 1 winner for Dato and Bart together in the Vinery Stakes.

“Carif is a homebred and carries the Think Big brand on his shoulder, so he will be getting some help from up above.”

Bart Cummngs and Dato Tan Chin Nam after winning the Melbourne Cup with Viewed in 2008. Credit: GETTY

Four of Cummings’ 12 Melbourne Cup winners were owned by Chin Nam, which is a record for a trainer-owner combination, starting with Think Big in 1974 and 1975. Chin Nam’s Southern Highlands stud where Carif was reared was named after the dual Cup winner.

Cummings and Chin Nam, who died in 2018, were a regular feature of the Flemington carnival for more than 35 years and also won the Cup with Saintly and Viewed, which was the master’s final victory in the race that stops the nation.

The next generation of the Chin Nam family will be on track when Carif fulfils the wish of the patriarch of the family.

“Dato’s wish was his family would continue to race horses and get his colours into the Cup,” Ramage said. “The idea with this horse was hopefully to get him to a Melbourne Cup, and he is here.

“The colours will also be in the consolation on Adelaide Cup winner Good Idea, which isn’t going well enough to run in the Cup itself but is a good stayer.

“It’s the next generation of the racing stock and the next generation of Chin Nams will be there on Tuesday to cheer him on.”

Carif will be Peter and Paul Snowden’s first Melbourne Cup runner, and Peter is well aware of the rich history it carries despite being $151 chance.

“When you talk of the Melbourne Cup, you talk of Bart,” Snowden said. “It is exciting for us to have a horse in the Melbourne Cup.

“The colours have had some luck in this race but, being realistic, he is an outsider.

“We know he will run the two miles, as he showed in the Sandown Cup and the Brisbane Cup. He is a horse that gets better with racing. He gets in with a light weight and he will run well.”

Snowden has had the Melbourne Cup as the target since Carif’s Sandown Cup victory last year, and the six-year-old has made a habit of having his peak run at the end of his preparation.

His record at his target race is good. He was second in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes after missing the Melbourne Cup in 2019, then runner-up in the Chairman’s Handicap in the autumn of 2020 before winning Sandown Cup in spring and running second in the Brisbane Cup.

“Carif has won the Sandown Cup and ran second in the Brisbane Cup over the two miles. He might not be the fastest conveyance in the field over the two miles but he will see it out,” Ramage said.

“His form tells you he doesn’t get into races until they get to 2600m, and his best run this time in was the St Leger.

“He has earned his right to be there, and our last Cup winner [Viewed] was $31.”

Article courtesy of The Sydney Morning Herald