Cummings: no worries about Jones's riding return

PROMINENT Sydney trainer Anthony Cummings had horses in the Doncaster Handicap and the Australian Oaks Group 1s this week, yet much of his media attention was about Joshua Jones' return to racing.

The former Ballina apprentice jockey will ride three Cummings-trained horses at Broadmeadow race track, Newcastle, tomorrow in his first meeting back from a three-month careless riding suspension over the race fall that killed jockey Daniel Baker at Grafton in December.

Speaking to The Northern Star yesterday, Cummings said he had been chased for days with questions about the 17-year-old who has racked up 10 suspensions in an 18-month career.

"Frankly, I'm trying to avoid that and let him get back to it," Cummings said.

It took one word for him describe his concerns about Jones' return: "None."

In Cummings' book, Jones has earned the right for a second chance.

"His application to his chosen career is an example for lots of young kids and hopefully he gets the fruits of that work," Cummings said.

"I've got no problems about him riding. He's been along to various schools and various support structures of Racing NSW and he's showed application and willingness to do the right thing."

Jones has recently begun a new three-month loan to the Cummings stable, after spending his suspension doing track work and taking riding skills tuition.

"He was here, at the track every day riding track work," Cummings said.

"He is quite keen.

"He has a great work ethic and a desire to get back and get it right.

"I think the kid has a got a bright future.

"He is plainly a good rider. He's clearly got passion.

"He just needs a bit of help to bring it all together and I'll be more than happy to help him if I can."

Jones is down to pilot Ingenuous in the Maiden Plate (1400m), Equus in the Rating 71 Handicap (1200m), and Epsom Downs in the Rating 65 Handicap (1600m).

He also has a ride aboard the Bob Milligan-trained Force and Effect in the Rating 65 Handicap (900m).

Cummings said Sydney was a great place for apprentice jockeys in winter as the city's top hoops head north to the Brisbane's premiere carnival.

"This time of year is a great opportunity for apprentices to make their mark," he said.


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