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Weight is Over for Racing Queensland Retiree
One of Australia's longest-standing handicappers is set to call it quits this week, reports racingqueensland.com.au. On 30 June, Racing Queensland will wave goodbye to its longest serving employee when handicapping stalwart Lester Grimmett retires after more than 50 years in the industry. The 73-year-old got his start in the industry in 1968, taking notes at stewards' inquiries for the Queensland Turf Club on a part-time basis. By 1973 he had risen through the ranks to become an assistant handicapper for the QTC, and seven years later was appointed Head Handicapper. Grimmett oversaw a golden age in Queensland racing, having had the pleasure of weighting the likes of Strawberry Road and Vo Rogue, as well as Chief De Beers whom he still singles out as his favourite horse. In 2003, Grimmett's role as Chief Handicapper saw him lead the introduction of a centralised handicapping system to cover the whole state, a role in which he served until 2015. Affectionately known as 'The Cat', Grimmett stepped aside as Chief Handicapper five years ago to move into a part-time role, which he has since occupied through until his retirement. "I loved every day of it, I walked in there early days and couldn't believe how lucky I was to be getting paid to work in an industry I love – to do that for nearly 52 years is a privilege and an honour."