You never understand how much you value or appreciate something until it’s taken away.
There are many matters we fail to realise the true value of until they are missing from our lives.
For thoroughbred trainer, Darryn Pateman, those sentiments ring loud and clear.
For more than a decade, the veteran horseman would swap the winter cold in Perth for a warm weather getaway in Broome during the racing season.
Spending four months of the year domiciled at one of the most iconic and picturesque racecourses in the world is a labour of love for the respected trainer.
But the annual trek to Broome that had been a consistent part of Pateman’s life since 2009, was put on hold last year as the world grappled with the COVID-19 virus.
The pandemic spread at a rapid rate and caused shutdowns over many sectors that impacted the lives of thousands of people across the globe.
Businesses and sport were not immune to the closures, including the Broome Turf Club, who sadly were forced to cancel the 2020 racing season.
“I missed the racing, the sun, the weather and Broome itself,” Pateman told The Races WA.
“The racing, the people, the town, it’s a special environment.
“I was pretty lucky in a sense from a business perspective as I could take my horses to Carnarvon instead, but the prize money isn’t as strong.
“To be honest it’s a relief to be back in Broome, but with what’s happening in Melbourne you can’t help but be a little nervous.
“Hopefully there are no more interruptions, and we get the season underway and completed as scheduled.
“I’m can’t wait to get back into it.”
Pateman doesn’t have to wait long with Broome launching their new season on Saturday.
There are nine meetings between May and August with the Broome Cup to be staged on August 14.
Pateman has a team of 20 horses stationed in Broome, 14 of which will race on Saturday.
He says Monash in race three and Thaad in the fourth event should run competitive races.
“Monash is sound, healthy and fit,” Pateman said.
“Thaad’s form doesn’t read that well, but I have him going good at the moment.”
Meanwhile apprentice Rosie Mahony kicks off her riding career at Broome.
A cousin of champion jockey, Lucy Warwick and indentured to top trainer, Jim Taylor, Mahony has rides on King Of Planets, Rhino Buster and Ombudsman.