While some things change, some things stay the same.
It’s business as usual for veteran trainer Darryn Pateman.
As he has done for nearly two decades, Pateman is getting ready for Broome’s season-opening meeting in a fortnight.
Pateman is based at Karnup, but each year travels thousands of kilometres to race his horses at Broome and WA’s north-west circuit.
It’s a partnership that has blossomed since 2009 and earned the popular horseman the tag as the ‘King of Country Racing’.
But the 57-year-old, whose trained nearly 600 winners since starting out as a 20-year-old, including a black-type race in Perth, has achieved the bulk of his success in Broome.
In 2005 he went close to training the card when he recorded five wins and a close second on the programme.
With a swag of trainer’s premierships and a clean sweep of their major races, Broome holds special affection for Pateman.
“It’s the weather that pretty much keeps me coming back,” Pateman told The Races WA.
“It’s the weather, lifestyle and my hate of the cold.
“If I liked cold weather I’d be in Kalgoorlie, that’s a simple way of looking at it.
“The first time I came to Broome I was looking for a change after I had lost a little bit of interest in racing.
“But it’s the lifestyle that makes us do it and keeps us coming back.
“I’m really looking forward to another season and I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t.”
Pateman has added some new blood to his team this year, but he’ll still rely on a couple of the stable’s flag bearers to score wins and build his bank balance.
Ombudsman, now an eight-year-old and Native Chimes are set for another season of campaigning.
Native Chimes won last year’s Carnarvon Cup (2000m) for Pateman’s son, Aaron and ran a bold third in the Kalgoorlie Cup (2200m).
Ombudsman gave Pateman one of if not his greatest thrill in racing when he won the Broome Cup (2200m) for the first time last August.
“It’s going to be hard to top last year,” Pateman said.
“We won the Broome Cup and Powerful went Horse of the Year.
“Everything sort of fell into place.
“But something always seems to pop up out of the team.
“I’ve got quite a few new ones, Phoneme from Michael Lane is going really good.
“Ombudsman and Native Chimes are here again and I bought a couple from the eastern states.
“I was planning on cutting down my numbers this year, but it hasn’t worked out that way.”
Pateman is a passionate advocate for country racing and the lifestyle it affords, but says the rigours of training horses can’t be ignored.
He’s not certain how much time he has left in the racing game, but believes he’s closer to finishing his career than he is to starting it.
“I’ve got a five year plan to when I’m sixty and I’ve got three to go,” Pateman said.
“I probably will give it away and go travelling with my wife and go around Australia.
“It’s a tricky one, but we decided on when I reach 60 and when we are debt free.
“It’s a tough gig training horses and it can be mentally challenging.”
Broome launch their new season Saturday week, June 3.
The Broome Cup is run on August 19.