Win num­ber 600 caps sea­son for Lam­mas

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - DEN­NIS RYAN

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.

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