His younger days were spent wandering through Royal Randwick after the school bell sounded and Paul Hammersley is confident of ringing up stakes success in Sydney after a permanent move south.
The former Group 1-winning rider has swallowed his pride to trawl the provincial circuit in search of establishing himself in the uber-competitive Sydney riding scene.
It includes regular visits to Kembla Grange – a far cry from his Queensland Oaks success on Mon Mekki at the top level more than a decade ago.
But the former Queensland-based hoop is hopeful of quickly establishing himself in the city – and adding a fifth Group success to his well-travelled resume.
‘‘That’s always the dream and hopefully the opportunity arises when a few of the big names go to Melbourne over the spring,’’ Hammersley said after sealing a permanent move south last month.
‘‘A couple of my best rides might come up in town.
‘‘When I was at primary school I used to walk up through the [Randwick] track to the stables to meet mum and dad [there].
‘‘There were a lot of people there. I can’t remember half of them, but they remember me and have come up and said hello. It’s good to see everyone.
‘‘The racing is a lot different, but I’m slowly getting my head around it.’’
Hammersley’s second win in NSW since his move came aboard Darley’s Wistful at Kembla almost a fortnight ago.
It backed up a winning ride at Newcastle a week earlier, smoothing the transition back to Sydney.
‘‘It was on the cards for a couple of years,’’ Hammersley said. ‘‘It was a decision I had to make with my wife and when we first moved up a couple of years ago we both decided just to give Queensland a good crack for a couple of years and now that we’ve got no kids we felt it was the right time to come down.
‘‘My goal is to get myself well established here. You’ve got to work your butt off week in week out and ride consistently. I can’t see why that can’t happen and so far so good.’’