Francesca Cumani has said that she won’t appear on British television until the start of the 2023 Flat turf season, although she will still travel back to Australia to oversee Channel 10’s coverage of the Melbourne Cup.

After the birth of her second son, Teddy, in May, Cumani withdrew from ITV Racing’s coverage of this year’s Flat season. She was speaking to the Racing Post for a significant interview that will appear in the newspaper on Sunday. In the interview, Cumani discusses female rivalry, imposter syndrome, and the significance of the Melbourne Cup in her TV career.

The 39-year-old presenter will begin working for Channel 10 in Australia on October 29, despite her lack of intentions to appear on ITV Racing in the UK this winter.

“If I had given birth to Teddy during the jumps season, I would have taken shorter maternity leave and come back for the Flat season,” she said. “I feel like I have more purpose on the Flat.”

Cumani has established herself as a household celebrity in Australia after initially appearing in Melbourne Cup coverage in 2007 while serving as her father Luca’s “travelling foreman,” to the point where she frequently finds herself the focus of tabloid pieces.

“I suppose it comes with the territory,” she said. “Perhaps the fact it doesn’t happen as much here as in Australia is a reflection of where racing stands in wider society.

“I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been featured in a magazine in the lead-up to Royal Ascot or the Grand National, whereas in Australia that would happen all the time.

“Racing is more part of the national consciousness in Australia. That means someone like me is better known over there, which also means it’s more likely someone will write a story about my personal life.

“I’ve learned over the years to separate myself from it. I know what’s real and who my friends are. You realise when reading things about yourself that a lot of it is made up.

“When I joined Channel 10 there was a big story in one of the papers about how much I was getting paid. It was completely untrue. You have to learn to take everything with a pinch of salt. I’ve got a pretty thick skin and have learned not to worry about what people think.”

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