Jones gets first gallops win

Mark Jones is now a dual code-winning trainer.

After training more than 600 winners in harness racing, today he’s had his first thoroughbred winner, with Mistletoe taking out the first at Oamaru.

After some encouraging lead-up form the five-year-old Tavistock mare went out as favourite in her eighth career start. It was the first win for both trainer and horse, with Jones only taking over her training in May.

“It’s always a thrill to win a race and satisfying too,” said Jones, “I’ve raced her the last five weeks in a row over a few different distances (from 1400 to 2200 metres) a bit like you do with the standardbreds.”

Jones also owns the horse, having bought it off gavelhouse.com after she’d had stints with established trainers Jamie Richards, John Bary and Terri Rae.

“Terri in particular has been a big help to me as have Danny Crozier and Rachel Deegan, I take the horse out to their place every Tuesday”

Jason Laking is the usual trackwork rider, though it was Kylie Williams who rode her at Oamaru.

“Jason couldn’t make the weight,” says Jones.

And Jones now has a second horse that’s not far away from the races, with Phelan The Power likely to front up next week.

“I’m enjoying it, the gallops people are a different crowd and I’m learning from them.”

Jones’ harness racing stable has had 39 training successes this season, he’s also had sevens wins as a driver.

On Sunday he’ll have five runners at Addington with Artatac (R4), Sioux Princess (R5), Songbird (R7), Michelle (R8) and Captain Confetti (R10).

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