Win number 600 caps season for Lammas
Cameron Lammas hasn’t exactly had an easy row to hoe in his endeavours as one of New Zealand’s journeymen jockeys.
A series of injuries, an asthma condition and plain old unfashionability have been obstacles along the way, but he’s overcome them all.
On Saturday at Rotorua, the 32-year- old took his career tally to 600 wins with a runaway success on Tauranga galloper El Pescado.
Living these days with his wife Tracey at Ngongotaha on the northern end of Lake Rotorua, Cameron has just completed the second-best season of a 14-year career that began as an apprentice in Matamata with renowned mentor Jim Gibbs.
His most prolific season was the last of his apprenticeship when he rode 77 winners in 2005-06.
A tally of 67 over the past 12 months and a career-best $1,277,600 earned by horses he has ridden complete a comeback from injury that would have stopped lesser mortals in their tracks.
Back in February 2013 at a Wairoa race meeting, Cameron suffered a compound leg fracture after a horse he was riding reared over backwards in the starting gates.
When he was helicoptered to Hastings Hospital, surgeons initially considered amputating the leg due to the extent of the double fibula and tibia fracture and loss of blood, but thankfully they were able to salvage the situation.
A testing 20-month layoff followed before Cameron was able to resume race riding in October 2014 and he has since ridden 89 winners to take him to 600.
El Pescado’s weekend win was satisfying, but no match for win number 599 on Gumboots at Te Awamutu last Wednesday.
Cameron wore the same green and red colours in nine wins on Desert Flight, who was trained by his great mate Richard Coxon.
Sadly Richard succumbed last year to cancer but his daughter Kim has taken over the family reins and Gumboots was her first winner.