Menangle, NSW, plans near fruition

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Mark Jones is in the final stages of making a change that could take his training career to a whole new level.

The Burnham horseman is going through the process of setting up a stable in Sydney in an effort to maximise returns for his owners and ensure longer, more fruitful, racing careers for their horses.

After a lot of testing the water and planning Jones will look to, in the next few weeks, confirm that he will establish a stable at the same property as leading trainers, Shane and Lauren Tritton at menangle

Overport Lodge trainer, Mark Jones.

“Right now it seems to be the best thing to do by my horses and by my owners,” Jones told HRNZ on Friday night.

“I’ve got a lot of horses in my barn at the moment who are close to reaching their mark here and are becoming harder and harder to place but with the systems in place over in Australia I can pretty much start fresh with most of them and we can have another go from scratch.”

Jones cited horses like Kowhai Monarch and real torque who would likely travel to Australia and start low-down in the grades with races available to them each and every week for decent money.

“The amount of money that they could earn is quite impressive, of course it’s not guaranteed, but it’s possible.

“The costs of doing it from over there are pretty reasonable too. I think I worked out that it would be about 90 cents a kg per day for a horse’s feed and the costs of being where I am looking at going aren’t that expensive either.”

While Australia would become a main focus, Jones would still look to be fully operational back in New Zealand and travel to Australia most weekends to race at Menangle on a Saturday night.

“I can fly out of Christchurch in mid-afternoon and be over there well in time for the first race and then can come back home again the next day if I want to.

“I’d have a stable foreman running the operation for me during the times I am not there so everything will keep ticking over as normal”

It’s not just Jones’ more low-key horses that will benefit either.

His current star three-year-olds, Delightful Memphis and Whittaker could both return at the start of next season over there in the maiden grades,which is quite incredible considering what they have done in their careers.

Class mare Rocker Band could rejoin his stable too and thus further the lifespan of her racing career before she heads to the broodmare barn.

But it doesn’t stop there either.

Jones is look at his options to take on other horses from other stables for trainers who are in a similar boat to what he is.

But he’s got a few stipulations.

“The current trainers percentage over there is 7.5 per cent, I would probably look at making that 10 per cent and see five per cent of it go back to the original trainer so they are still getting something out of it.

“I don’t want other trainers owners, but I would be happy to take a horse for someone if they thought it would suit the racing over there and maximise it’s earnings and there are plenty of horses that would suit”

Jones will head over to Australia to look to finalise plans and get the ball well and truly moving on the new venture and he will do so having the backing of a number of horses from his own stable, who are already being earmarked for the move as well as others from stables around the country.

“I’ve got a few horses from other trainers who will probably come over with me initially which will be good because we will be able to see how it will all work and then go from there.”

While many in the industry are currently airing frustrations about the new handicapping system, Jones said that while it is a part of his decision, ultimately he was doing what he thought was best for the most important people in his eyes.