Geraldton trainer of the year Graeme Hammarquist heads to Carnarvon for race season

Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
Graeme Hammarquist is ready for the Carnarvon race season.
Camera IconGraeme Hammarquist is ready for the Carnarvon race season. Credit: Sharon Smith/The West Australian, Sharon Smith

With a trailerload of racehorses, a new trainer of the year award from Geraldton and two firsts last meet, trainer Graeme Hammarquist is setting off up the highway for Carnarvon and the North West season.

The Walkaway-based trainer said he had been heading up for the Gascoyne season on and off for more than 20 years, with a couple of seasons at Port Hedland thrown in.

This time around, he said he was taking a strong line-up including five-year-old mare Dash For Knickers, eight-year-old gelding Behrooz and three-year-old gelding Worzel and planning to make a mark on the season.

He said along the way, the countryside was green from one end to the other — and local trainers who did not get up for the season were missing out on the Carnarvon Race Club’s hospitality and a great experience. The season starts from this Saturday.

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“We’ve got the horsepower to do it,” he said. “We’ve been doing this for a lot of years now.

“It’s green everywhere, it’s beautiful all the way from Northampton to Carnarvon, absolutely beautiful.

“It’s a good place to race, there are nice people up there, pity a few more trainers don’t come up.

“They’ve (trainers) got options to go and do a bit of fishing (while in town), there’s a few other things to do.

“Geraldton’s home and the crew down there are absolutely fantastic, but it’s pretty good up here, too.

“They go out of their way to make all the trainers welcome.

“They do everything they can to accommodate everybody and make everybody happy, which is hard to do. Carnarvon works very well and the people up there go out of their way to make it work.” He said he also wanted to thank everyone at Geraldton, from the staff to starters to administrators after running a successful season despite setbacks like lockdowns in the metro area and the destruction caused by cyclone Seroja.

Marxian ran first for Hammarquist in race three last Thursday with Jerry Noske aboard, as the last meet of the Geraldton season went ahead behind closed doors with tracks only open to essential personnel.

Jockey Kyra Yuill and Hammarquist’s Haystacks saluted the judge in race five.

Horse of the year in Geraldton was Kenyluck — another back-to-back winner — while jockey of the year was Troy Turner and Madi Derrick was apprentice of the year.

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