READY TO GO: Joshua Jones (right) will make his race debut at Doomben today. With him are fellow jockeys Robert Agnew (left) an
READY TO GO: Joshua Jones (right) will make his race debut at Doomben today. With him are fellow jockeys Robert Agnew (left) an

Jones all set for Doomben



PROMISING Ballina apprentice Joshua Jones will head north again for only one ride aboard the Les Ross-trained Demolir in the Macquarie Underwriting Hcp (1200m) at Doomben today.

Jones, 16, made a huge impression when he scored his first Brisbane Saturday win on the Tim Martin-trained Teasing at Doomben last weekend.

Indentured to trainer Stephen Lee at Ballina, Jones won the NSW Northern Rivers jockeys' title as an apprentice with 62 wins last season while his boss also claimed the trainers' title in the region.

Lee believes Jones has untapped potential and he's already in strong demand with six early rides at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

"Now that Josh has won the jockeys' and apprentices' title at home he'll be doing most of his riding in Brisbane from now on," Lee said.

"He's going to travel more like what Zac Purton used to do and what Scott Seamer still does.

"It's only about two hours in a truck with horses to Brisbane whereas Zac started from Coffs Harbour which is a further three hours south."

Jones is a big fan of Hong Kong-bound Purton. "I know Zac well and he's a great rider who I like to model myself on," Jones said.

"He's helped me out a lot with my riding and I'd like to be as good as him one day."

"Apart from its proximity, I think Brisbane is a better place for him to learn than Sydney," Lee said. "We don't have much racing in Ballina so Josh will ride in Brisbane every Wednesday and Saturday and at other midweek meetings like Ipswich.

"He may even go to the Sunshine Coast to ride on Sundays." Jones was champion junior rider at the Sydney Royal show for seven straight years from age eight to 14 before he joined Lee's Ballina stables.

He was educated at Xavier High in Ballina before quitting school in year nine to concentrate on showjumping.

Showjumping also disrupted his rugby league career at school.

"I didn't have much time for rugby league because of my showjumping. I was too small anyway even though I played hooker or halfback," he said.

Jones won his first metropolitan race on Couples Of Three at Doomben in March. AAP



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