There’s hardly a ripple of surprise when the Pateman name figures prominently in country races across WA, but on the weekend it was a newer member of the racing family who stood out.
Aaron Pateman, in his first full season of training, claimed his biggest scalp to date when in-form gelding Block Of Land scored a runaway win in the Port Hedland Cup (2200m) at Roebourne.
Completing his fourth straight victory at Roebourne, Block Of Land, ridden by Kayla Cross, led all the way and was never challenged when defeating Crossaro by 3 ½ lengths.
A son of well-known horseman Darryn Pateman, Aaron is hoping Block Of Land’s victory can kick-start his training journey and continue a long family tradition.
“This is only my second year of training and I’ve never really had a crack at winning big races,” Pateman told The Races WA.
“It’s definitely my biggest win so far and I’m keen to add to the scoreboard.
“My wife Kate is born in Port Hedland and she was pretty thrilled with the result, winning a hometown cup, albeit in Roebourne.
“Nathan, who works with the horses, has lived in Port Hedland for a long time, so yeah, it meant a little bit to us actually.”
Drawing on your father’s wealth of experience is an invaluable source of knowledge for any new trainer out to stamp their own individual footprint.
Darryn is affectionately referred to as the ‘King Of Country Racing’ who for nearly 40 years has travelled a team of horses from his base at Karnup to the north-west
He’s trained a stack of winners, the majority of those in Broome, and has been crowned Leading Country Trainer on multiple occasions.
Aaron, who gave up full time work as a crane operator to take on training full time, said he was grateful to be following in Darryn’s footsteps.
“He was happy and a pretty proud dad on the weekend,” Pateman said.
“He told me a couple of years back I only had a few years to take over before he starts to wind down, so I had to start pulling my socks up.
“I was a crane operator by trade and I’ve given that up to focus on full time training in the past year.
“It was a good job, but my heart was in being a trainer and that’s what I wanted to do.
“I came home one day and told my wife I was going to pull the pin and have a crack.
“It’s starting to pay off now which is good and hopefully I can keep the ball rolling.
“I might have a look at Esperance later in the year, I’ve got nothing set in stone, but I will definitely be coming back up here again next year for sure.”
Aaron has leant on Darryn’s wisdom and knowledge, but shortly the shoe will be on the other foot.
The apprentice will give the master a helping hand to break a frustrating hoodoo.
‘I’m sending Block Of Land to him and hopefully he can win his first Broome Cup,” Pateman said.
“He (Block Of Land) will go under his name, but under my instructions (laughs).
“He’s a Broome man and I would love to see him win the Broome Cup.
“That was the plan, if he won the Port Hedland Cup he’d be on a truck to Broome.”