Rumours swirl horse racing presenter Francesca Cumani will not return for the Spring Carnival

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Rumours swirl glamorous horse racing presenter Francesca Cumani will not return to Australia for the Spring Carnival after she signed a $1 million contract with Channel 10

Channel 10’s horse racing fans could be left disappointed at the Melbourne Cup  Carnival this year.

There are rumours the network’s star race presenter Francesca Cumani, who is based in the UK, may not make the trip to Flemington in November.

Francesca, 39, signed a five-year deal worth $1 million with Channel 10 in 2019, after the network took over the Spring Carnival broadcast rights from Channel Seven.

Disappointing: Channel 10's horse racing fans could be left disappointed during the Melbourne Cup Carnival this year. There are rumours the network's star race presenter Francesca Cumani, 39, who is based in the UK, may not make the trip to Flemington in November

Disappointing: Channel 10’s horse racing fans could be left disappointed during the Melbourne Cup Carnival this year. There are rumours the network’s star race presenter Francesca Cumani, 39, who is based in the UK, may not make the trip to Flemington in November

The glamorous star, who is the daughter of Italian horse trainer and breeder Luca Cumani, missed 2021’s Melbourne Cup due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Now it seems that Francesca, who has won plaudits in the UK as a race presenter on the ITV network, is finding her commitments in Australia too difficult to manage.

In December last year, the British born thoroughbred expert announced she was expecting her first child with Australian partner, businessman Max Johnson in June.

Known for her stylish presentation and good humour, Francesca first won over fans in Australia as a racing presenter for Channel Seven.

Other commitments? Francesca revealed in December 2021 she is expecting her first child with businessman Max Johnson

Other commitments? Francesca revealed in December 2021 she is expecting her first child with businessman Max Johnson

Opportunity: Jockey-turned trainer Michelle Payne is rumoured to be taking a bigger role as a Channel 10 commentator after impressing the network with her work during the Melbourne Cup broadcast in 2021 Pictured: Michelle at the AAMI Victoria Derby Day at Flemington in 2021

Opportunity: Jockey-turned trainer Michelle Payne is rumoured to be taking a bigger role as a Channel 10 commentator after impressing the network with her work during the Melbourne Cup broadcast in 2021 Pictured: Michelle at the AAMI Victoria Derby Day at Flemington in 2021

Meanwhile, jockey-turned trainer Michelle Payne, who rose to fame as the first woman to ride a Melbourne Cup winner, is rumoured to be taking a bigger role as a Channel 10 commentator.

Francesca was previously married to Australian international polo player Rob Archibald. After getting married in 2014 and the pair are said to have split in 2018.

The once-smitten couple welcomed their first son, Harry, two, in April, 2016. 

Striking: The popular presenter is pictured here at the Royal Ascot in the UK in June 2021

Striking: The popular presenter is pictured here at the Royal Ascot in the UK in June 2021

During their marriage, Francesca and Rob attempted to juggle their lives on either side of the planet – a challenge which intensified after Francesca was hired by Britain’s ITV in 2016.

That meant her spending eight months in Britain during the racing season and four months in Australia, when she was then, a commentator for Channel Seven. 

After missing the Melbourne Cup in Australia last year, Francesca commented on the event from London.

‘Right, next year I’m definitely going to be at ”The Cup” alongside the wonderful Channel 10 team at Flemington but this year I had to settle for beaming in from London,’ she captioned a picture of herself in a TV studio. 

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