Although Paul Hamblin leaves the headline grabbing to more prominent types, his tireless toils and travels are an example to others.
Folk outside the industry would find his diverse log book entries staggering.
The veteran Peachester based jockey has regularly donned silk at Queensland country tracks, and at Victorian, South Australian and some international jumping programs.
Paul grew up at Leyburn as did the the Rugby League star Shane Webcke, and cut his teeth riding through the natural bush rather than in show rings.
His mentors during his apprenticeship at Clifton were Marty Byrne and his son Danny.
When weight became a defining issue, Hamblin turned to the jumping opportunities that Melbourne offered.
Among the countless cases of extraordinary physical demands faced by the former Darling Downs rider in August 2016 were four trips across the Tasman inside a week.
The reward for the on-spec sorties was a triumph on Upper Cut in the time honoured New Zealand Grand National Steeplechase at Riccarton.
Hamblin, already with two Victorian Grand Nationals to his credit, piloted Nishiazabu to victory in the 2016 Oakbank’s Von Doussa Steeplechase and the Adelaide Grand National.
During his 18 years over the hurdles and steeples, Paul has represented his country in the Australia versus Ireland jumping series at home and at Killarney.
He also checked in mid-field of the 25 hopefuls in the famously tough Great Pardubice Steeplechase in the Czech Republic in 2009.
At the other end of the spectrum, Hamblin landed four winners and five placings in 2017 at the quaint carnival on King Island in Bass Strait.
Paul’s success on the Glenn Richardson trained Canid (63 kilograms) at Gympie in November 2016 was especially satisfying; decades earlier, he had been associated with Glenn’s parents Trevor and Glenda at Emerald.
The journeying has continued in 2019.
In July, Hamblin collected the highweights’ double on the flat at Tatura. He scored at St George and appeared at Warrnambool and Pakenham.
The first of his August ports of call was at Nanango where he displayed poise and power to win on New Alliance.
The next day he was at Sandown.
Faraway Casterton then beckoned and the day after his single booking at Gympie, he was legged up at Coleraine in far western Victoria.
Roma and Ballarat engagements rounded out the month.
Working in tandem with Hamblin’s race day schedule is his long standing, somewhat mammoth appetite for trackwork.
It applied when he was at Cranbourne and has been maintained in the Sunshine Coast district.
It is pretty obvious that if an equine version of the Tour de France pops up on the calendar, Paul Hamblin will be there for its debut.
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Bits And Bridles
- It has been a luckless period for South Burnett stables. The Glenn Richardson team did pick up place money with La Belle Belle and Demesne at Dalby and Siouxsie at Rockhampton.
- Meanwhile, Jason Hoopert was in the winner’s circle at Beetoota last Saturday. Attention in that area moves 175 kilometres west to Birdsville this Friday and Saturday. Miles trainer Bevan Johnson, with 15 horses nominated, has really zoomed in on the iconic meeting.
- The upcoming non-TAB calendar should assist Nanango’s Spring Florals fixture on September 14. Bedourie, Thangool, Morven and Cloncurry are the only other country venues on the day. Given that there is no program on the Eastern Downs on Saturday week and that Bundaberg races on the sand this Saturday, Nanango should be a lure for grass track runners.
- This week’s column is a little later than usual due to Internet issues. As most of us know, the Net is only 100 per cent reliable when you don’t need it to be.