The three fastest-rising trainers in the world in 2016

Tough act to follow: James Cummings with his grandfather, 12-time Melbourne Cup-winning Bart Cummings, who died in 2015. Photo:

He’s the grandson of the legendary Bart Cummings, and he certainly seems to have inherited at least some of the master’s magic touch with racehorses: James Cummings, just 29, was the biggest climber in the world among trainers in the TRC Global Rankings in 2016.

The rankings algorithm has produced an ordered list of individuals in each of the four categories of Jockeys, Owners, Trainers and Sires who made the biggest gains in their total number of rankings points over 2016. We have already featured the top three jockeys and the top three sires. Today it is the turn of the trainers. Owners will be highlighted tomorrow.

These are the three trainers who have gained the most rankings points over the past 12 months:


Modal Country

Rank now

Rank end 2015

Rank change

Pts now

Pts end 2015

Pts change

James Cummings








Charlie Appleby








Darren Weir








Cummings spent four years as his grandfather’s foreman at his famous stables at Leilani Lodge, Sydney, before being granted his own licence in 2013 and operating in partnership with the man generally regarded as Australia’s greatest trainer.

Since Bart Cummings’ death in 2015, he has continued to develop, and he really began to come to the fore in 2016, as this graph of his TRC ranking illustrates.

Cummings had nine Group winners in 2016, including Prized Icon’s top-level strikes in the Victoria Derby at Flemington and Champagne Stakes at Randwick.



Charlie Appleby, 41, has some amazing talent to train and is beginning to bring it to full bloom at a higher rate than has been the case for Godolphin in past British seasons.

Particularly adept at preparing horses to be shipped to Australia – such as Oceanographer and Qewy – he looks set for a good 2017. Wuheida enters her 3-year-old campaign with massive expectations in this quarter.

Currently Appleby lies second among British trainers in the TRC standings.



Darren Weir  is now among the global elite, reaching #6 in the latest iteration of TRC Global Rankings. Regularly posting amazing totals of winners outside black-type company for well over a decade from Ballarat, Victoria, his stock has got better and better. He had 24 Group winners, included seven at the highest level, in 2016.

He is second, behind only Chris Waller, in the TRC Australian trainers’ standings.

Honourable mentions

Jean-Claude Rouget (France), Yasuo Tomomichi (Japan), Noriyuki Hori (Japan), Clive Cox (Great Britain), Hugo Palmer (Great Britain).

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