Young Kiwi-bred reinsman Cameron Jones, 16, notched up his first driving success in what was his first ever raceday drive at Penrith Paceway in New South Wales last night.
Jones, who has been working for Menangle Park trainer Kerry Ann Turner for the past ten months, took Zenable back from the start before working around the field to find the top.
From there, the Bettor’s Delight mare packed too many guns for her opposition in the home stretch, with young Jones showing his delight with a brilliant victory salute.
Jones’s night then got even more memorable when he returned to the winners circle to find his parents, Peter & Leonne, and sister, Tarryn, waiting for him.
“I had a bit of a feeling they may come over, but I wasn’t sure,” said Jones. “It was a great surprise that added to the occasion.”
“I was talking to them earlier in the day and they wished me the best of luck and said they would be watching on the TV at home,” he laughed.
Jones said the whole Morris family and Kerry-Ann (Turner) had been great to him since he moved over and that he was very thankful to them.
“They are like my second family and they have taught me a lot,” said Jones.
“Everyone has been so helpful over here,” he added.
Jones said that the pressure was on for his first raceday drive on Zenable last night.
“I was sitting on the couch with Robbie (Morris) and Kerry-Ann (Turner) on Wednesday night and I asked each of them how they went in their first drive.
“Robbie said I won, and then I looked at Kerry-Ann and she said I won as well, so I didn’t want to buck the trend,” he laughed.
Jones had two other drives later in the night in Type Thing (6th) and Signwritter (10th) but neither could replicate his first-up win.
“Type Thing may have finished a couple of places further up if I had have stuck to the rail, but at least I’ve learnt something for next time.”
That next time, won’t be far away either with Jones already having two drives confirmed for Menangle on Tuesday.
“I’ve got my first outside drive, Prince Lee for Ash Seijka, and I am driving In Pennsylvania, so it’s all go,” said a beaming young Jones.
By Mitchell Robertson