What Francesca Cumani does when she isn’t watching horse racing

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Welcome to Quick Q – Monday Media’s weekly Q&A series dedicated to finding out more about the personalities that matter most in the Australian media landscape.

Every week The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age asks key figures across corporate media, business, sport, federal politics, radio, television and culture to answer a series of questions about their life, careers, hobbies and news habits.

This week’s conversation is with international racing expert and Network Ten racing presenter, Francesca Cumani.

Francesca Cumani is the daughter of Italian thoroughbred horse trainer and breeder, Luca Cumani.

Francesca Cumani is the daughter of Italian thoroughbred horse trainer and breeder, Luca Cumani.Credit:Network Ten

How did you get your big break?
I got my big break when I was travelling to the Melbourne Cup as a strapper, with a lovely horse called Purple Moon. There was a lot of media interest in the international horses because he was well fancied, and I was the spokesperson for the stable. I was in the press a bit and I think it was off the back of that I was offered a role as an expert the following year on Channel 7.

What are your daily news media habits?
To be honest, living in England with Brexit, then coronavirus… I tend to avoid reading, watching, listening to the news.

Your guilty streaming pleasure?
I’m probably a bit of an anomaly in the sense that I don’t have any subscriptions and would be more likely to find me curled up in bed with a book than in front of the tele.

Which phrase do you overuse?
I really can’t think of one, but I am probably guilty of saying something a lot of the time without even realising!

What did you want to do when you grew up?
I didn’t know exactly, but I always knew it was going to be something to do with horses. I grew up in a household surrounded by horses and I knew from very early on that my passion was for these beautiful animals and I couldn’t image life without them.

What was your first job?
My first job was in the local veterinary hospital. I remember on my first morning having to hold a horse while it was having an operation on its sinuses and the mucus that came out the front of its head was quite confronting. It was a fascinating experience and I learnt a lot.

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