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Marrissa Jones has a day she won't forget

By Duane Ranger

“I was in a bit of a state of shock. I didn’t realise straight away what I had done – and then it started hitting me. I was so happy.”

Those were the words from 22-year-old Park Ridge horsewoman, Marrissa Jones, who trained her first winner at last Tuesday’s Albion Park meeting.

At just on 4.30pm Jones watched Callmedemaro and Nathan Dawson win the eighth event – the $8,000 Badcock Pace for 55-65 Pacers.

That’s a brilliant achievement considering she only started training the Stoneridge Regal black gelding in early November. The 7-year-old has now had 11 starts for Jones for one win and three placings.

Callmedemaro drew three and the in-form Dawson had him in front not long after the start. That’s where they stayed throughout the 2,138m mobile, winning by half neck.

His winning time was 2:36.4 (mile rate 1:57.8 and sectionals: 29.9, 32, 28.2, and 29. Callmedemaro was the $8.50 third favourite.

“The opportunity came up for us to purchase Callmedemaro from Justin Brewin down in South Australia. After looking at his stats we jumped at the chance.

“He had one win before my partner Lucas Anticevic and I purchased him. I only got my trainer’s licence a month after I bought him. I still can’t believe I’ve trained a winner. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment and I can see why the sport is so addictive”  Jones said.

Not only does she train racehorses but Jones also has a strong focus on their life after racing.

“I’ve been re-training since I was 14 or 15. It started when I was young back home with Mum and Dad. They had racehorses and often when they had finished racing they would stay on our property.”

Because of her background in the equestrian industry, Jones admits she prefers to ride the racehorses.

“I just can’t help myself, and often I’ve found it can be a great change-up for them.  I used to ride Greg The Great for Graham, and I did test out Callmedemaro a couple of times, but I train him in the cart and in the pool.

“I must admit though I do feel awkward in the cart. All I’ve ever done is ride them, I feel more connected to them that way,” Jones said.

Jones was born in Brisbane and educated at St Thomas More College in Sunnybank.

She started retraining horses seriously in her teens and then a month after finishing Year 12 moved to New South Wales to work for Peter Carson.

Within a couple of years she returned to Queensland and secured a job at Dwyer’s Kingslodge Pacing Stables at Greenbank.

“I’m just grateful to those that have helped me to get where I am now. And of course our incredible horse Callmedemaro that just keeps on trying! I’d also like to thank John Cremin and Nathan Dawson for driving him.

“Nathan asked me out of the blue one day if I would like him to drive Callmedemaro and I saw Graham nodding ‘yes’ out of the corner of my eye.

“Graham later told me that he was one of Queensland’s best drivers. He wasn’t wrong. He drove my horse brilliantly out in front.

“I’m still buzzing,” Jones said.