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First training success for Marrissa Jones?

By Duane Ranger

On a night where the ‘Top-10 Australia trainer’, Jack Butler, looks set to carry on his winning ways at Albion Park, Saturday could also be a night to remember for Greenbank 22-year-old horsewoman, Marrissa Jones.

The former St Thomas More College (Sunnybank), trainer will be looking to condition her first winner when Callmedemaro lines up from gate three as one of the favourites in Race 7– the $10,970 Vale Peter Thomas Aspirational R55 to R70 Pace.

The 6-year-old Stoneridge Regal gelding opened up the $6 equal second favourite. Regular pilot Nathan Dawson does the driving.

The black gelding has won two of his 38 starts and placed in 12 others for $16,171. Jones has trained him for his last seven starts after taking over from Graham Dwyer in early November. She also owns him.

Callmedemaro is due to break through after consecutive seconds at Albion Park on January 7 and December 24 – the latter by a short half-head.

“He drew 10 last start and has trained on well since – so we are hoping he can give me my first training win. He’s a lovely horse.

“My partner and I were tentatively looking for a racehorse and after a few weeks we heard that Justin Brewin (owner of Sir Julian, one of the horses at Graham’s stable) was considering selling Callmedemaro.

“We had a look at his form and after talking it over with Graham we purchased ‘Mario’ (as we call him) and had him sent up from South Australia. Callmedemaro is the first racehorse I’ve trained so he’s very special to us.

“He’s been feeling great so I’m hoping he can channel that energy into the race and bring home a win for us,” Jones said.

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Jones was born in Brisbane and raised here before moving to New South Wales when she turned 17.

“I was always horse crazy growing up and begged my parents for a horse. Not knowing much about horses, they got me and my sister an unhandled Brumby.

“Safe to say we learnt the hard way how to ride. My parents didn’t have much to do with horses until my Step-Dad, Bill Freeman and my mother, Robyn (Freeman) purchased a racehorse when I was around 10.

“I remember coming home one day from school and finding a new horse in one of our paddocks. My sister and I were so excited we jumped on bareback and quickly learnt that it wasn’t broken to saddle. “Within a few months one racehorse turned into six, and then I would spend as much time as I could with them helping out at Graham Dwyer’s stables. After that I spent a lot of time working with my parents’ racehorses once they retired. When I was 15, I started running agistment on my parents property to help fund the cost of owning horses,” Jones said.

After High School Jones moved to Nowra to be closer to relatives and began working for Peter Carson, training his trotters.

“At that stage I didn’t have much interest in driving so Pete let me break-in his whole team to saddle and I rode them in track work. Then after two years I moved back to Queensland.

“I started focusing more on retraining retired racehorses in the last few years and six months ago I began working for Graham Dwyer at Kingslodge Pacing Stables to gain more experience under the guidance of another successful trainer before I purchase my own property.

“I’m hoping that having the opportunity to own and train my own racehorse will give me more insight into the mind of racehorses and how they behave in order to expand on my re-training and rehoming background,” Jones said.

Meanwhile Logan Village trainer, Jack Butler, should notch up at least his 16th city winner and 43rd this season at Albion Park tomorrow night.

The classy trainer has nine accepted for the 10-race programme.