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Kyla Jones sends a toast to Alberton couple

By Duane Ranger

Owners are the backbone of the harness racing industry and tucked away in Rothwell at the weekend, one such owner finally got to toast Alberton couple Ryan Veivers and Dannielle McMullen.

Kyla Jones was scheduled to be at the pair’s wedding on April 19, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced those plans to be postponed until October.

It wasn’t exactly a wedding tribute, but Jones did send her best wishes to trainer Veivers and driver McMullen after taking out the fifth event at Albion Park with five-year-old Ultimate Falcon gelding, Ultimate Ad.

“He’s the newest addition to my little team, I’ve had him about six weeks and really like the way he goes about his work,” Jones said.

“I was in my lounge room watching the race, yelling ‘Go Stevie’ while my partner was wrapping our sons’ gifts at the time.

“She could tell by my tone that he was doing well, and that’s why she came running out.

“It was a big thrill, I’ve really missed going to the race-track and this was the perfect ‘pick-me-up’ during these uncertain times.”

Ultimate Ad was having his fourth start for Jones and trainer Veivers, and is getting stronger each start, finishing six and fourth at Redcliffe on April 13 and 26, and then a nose second at Albion Park on May 1.

All-up, the Burwood Stud-bred bay has won 11 of his 82 starts and placed in 17 others for $52,954 in stakes – with three of those wins having come this season.

Jones said she was proud of Ultimate Ad, who sat parked and still dealt to them by 5.1 metres with a 1:57.4 mile rate for the 2,138m mobile.

Albion Park

GOTTA GO CULLECT @ EGMONT PARK STUD QUALIFYING B PACE 2138m

“Ryan is an exceptional trainer, he really knows his stuff,” Jones said.

“Horses excel with him and he always turns them out looking a treat, I can't thank him enough for all of the success he has given me over the years.

“It was good timing really, because Ryan and Dannielle should have been married by now, smiles all round.”

The 37-year-old Ipswich-born owner, said it was always special to win a Saturday night race in the city.

“That was my first Saturday night winner since Ima Top Tycoon won in November,” Jones said.

“Iam The Joker was my last winner at Redcliffe in January and I suppose all-up I’ve owned maybe a couple of dozen since I started owning standardbreds about a decade ago.

“Ima Top Tycoon is my pride and joy, the best I’ve had - I owe this boy so much.

“He is a real pleasure to be around, he’s a very versatile pacer and Ryan is doing a great job with him.

“He’s also working the same magic with this Ultimate Ad, I was delighted with the drive as well - Dannielle is a quality driver and I couldn’t be happier.

“I wouldn’t miss their wedding for the world, Ryan’s first winner for me was Wirrawee Echo at Albion Park in 2014 - who was at $100-1.”

Jones is the younger sister of popular Queensland race-caller Dean Jones, while her father Ken enjoyed the races and her other brother, Brad, used to be a bookmaker.

“I’ve also been around people who were born into it, it didn’t take me long to get hooked,” Jones said.

“I’m just so pleased I have such an awesome trainer and driver to call on, I’m also a big fan of Taleah (McMullen)’s driving as well.”

Jones relocated to Redcliffe 10 years ago to be with her partner, Victoria, who is a qualified vet nurse and also a big horse lover.

Jones has worked for Bunnings since she was 16, and back then the company was known as Hardware House.

“I love going to the track on race-day but I understand what is needed to be done to get back to normal sooner,” Jones said.

“Queensland Racing, the trainers, and drivers, has handled it all so well and so professionally.

“It is because of them and the guidelines being adhered to we have been able to continue to race.”

Meanwhile, Veivers and Grant Dixon provided the individual training highlights on Saturday night with two winners apiece.

Veivers and Danny Gatt-Bouquet combined with Lettucefirestar to win race two, while Dixon trained and drove four-year-old mares, Miss Moneybags and Saint Kilda Beach to win races six and seven.

Dixon’s two triumphs in the sulky were matched by Narissa McMullen, who won behind the Richard Hutchinson-trained Havana Moon in race four and the Stephen Cini-trained Garland Greene in the last event.