Patinack sues trainer in £3.7m negligence case
PATINACK Farm is attempting to sue trainer Anthony Cummings, claiming that he worked horses so hard they were unable to race, took sale commissions he should not have and bought horses for a client that were not fit for competition.
Patinack Farm is run by Nathan Tinkler, a mining tycoon who is seeking A$6.4 million (£3.7m) from Cummings, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Tinkler says this is the loss in value of horses Cummings bought on Patinack's behalf and trained until they were broken down or lame, preventing them earning winnings.
Cummings: facing negligence allegationsPICTURE: AAP RACING
The claim was made after Cummings requested payment of A$173,000 from Patinack which it owed for unpaid training fees and costs. Tinkler refused to pay on grounds that Cummings had not performed all the work he was charging for.
Patinack also alleged that Cummings breached his duty of care when training the horses and profited at its expense when he was supposed to be acting for it at sales in 2008, where it is alleged that he purchased more than 100 horses for Patinack.
Cummings denies these allegations, saying he did not breach any duty of care, and any loss or damageis due to Patinack's negligence in failing to monitor the training and by letting horses race when they should not be.
Patinack lists 15 thoroughbreds as ''horses that have broken down due to negligence'', including five that allegedly had no chance of racing.
The remaining 10 horses allegedly have a 50 per cent chance of racing, including Siderus, purchased for A$2.5 million, and Metallurgical, bought for A$2.2 million.
According to Patinack, Cummings had a duty to buy sound horses he thought would eventually win Group 1 races and train them in a way that would not stress or injure them.
Cummings denies he had a duty to prevent overtraining, denies training some of the horses and denies the horses became lame or broke down while being in his care.
Patinack alleges that Cummings wrongly took commissions and fees from sales. This includes A$2.8 million from A$18.8 million worth of horses he allegedly boughtat the 2008 Magic Millions sale, when he was supposed to be buying 58 horses for Patinack at the best possible price.
Cummings says he never took a commission Patinack was not aware of, denies he had a duty to buy only horses with thepotential to win and admits purchasing only some of the horses on Patinack's behalf.
The matter is due before the court for directions on March 9.