Paul Hammersley has bounced back from injury to cement his place as No.1 jockey for the rising powerhouse in Brisbane racing, trainer Steve O’Dea.
Hammersley missed 10 days of racing after being thrown on the way to the barriers in a race at Doomben on July 9 when he hurt his shoulder.
He steered Doubt Defying to win for O’Dea at his comeback ride on Wednesday and then followed up with a win on the promising Colinelle, also for O’Dea, at Doomben on Saturday.
Hammersley and O’Dea brought up their 19th winner for the season when Cash Dash won at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday and are looking forward to an even bigger new season.
“The shoulder is fine and it helps riding nice horses for Steve,” Hammersley said.
O’Dea said Hammersley would have the top rides for his stable which is now based in two training centres at Eagle Farm and Aquis Farm at Canungra in the Gold Coast hinterland.
“There is no retainer like J Mac (James McDonald) but Paul will be riding trackwork for us and I am looking forward to a big year,” he said.
O’Dea has had a good season but will be even stronger now he is the trainer for Aquis which has been a big spender at the Australian sales this year.
However, he still has the backing of his long time owners including Burdekin farmer-breeder Joe Rapisarda who races Colinelle.
Rapisarda and O’Dea have had many winners in recent years with horses such as Kiss Me Katy, Bianca Jewel, Amber’s Crown, Katy’s Son and The Last Kiss.
“Joe has been great to me. He gave me Kiss Me Katy when I came down here from Townsville in 2009 and she helped get me started,” O’Dea said.
“We have had a low key period in recent months with injury to some of our horses but Colinelle is certainly promising.”