Jones and Joseph confident of hitting a bullseye with Darts Away

Darts Away
MOTHER and son training duo Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones are hoping their consistent gelding Darts Away can put its best hooves forward on Thursday when it tackles the first qualifier of the Provincial Championships at Wyong.

The bay four-year-old comes into the 1350m sprint first up since November 26, which Jones said should be ideal.

“Normally his first two runs each prep are his best two runs – last preparation he won a really nice race at Canberra first up, beating Le Cavalier and that horse has since come out and franked its form throughout its preparation,” Jones told

“Second up he contested quite a strong Highway Handicap and he ran a very good time, which stood up on the day.

“We opted to race him first up because he only has two runs before he out qualifies himself for the series – that way if we are unsuccessful in qualifying for the final this Thursday, then he still has one more run to try and get him into the field in one of the later heats.”

The Provincial Championships were launched in 2015 and consists of five qualifying races held at each of the Provincial Clubs. Each event is worth $150,000 and can be contested by eligible horses currently under the care of a provincial trainer.

The first, second and third horses from each qualifying event will contest the $400,000 Provincial Championships, which will be run and won at Randwick on Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day.

Darts Away is currently a $51 chance with Sportsbet to win the grand final on April 8, with Jones expecting a solid performance this Thursday from barrier five.

Jones says a major advantage of his charge is a flexible running style.

“He is quite an adaptable horse – he can sit in nearly any position – although I would imagine he will try and settle in the first six,” he said.

A victory in the Provincial Championships series would be a career highlight for Joseph and Jones, who started training in partnership in 2010.

However, Joseph is no stranger to success, having trained more than 1,100 winners since taking out her licence in the 1970s.

“Mum has been in the industry for more than 40 years and she has won quite a few group and listed races including the Doncaster Handicap back in 1989 with Merimbula Bay.

“He was a very good horse and he was actually the first horse she ever bought at the sales and she managed to take him right through to winning the Doncaster as a three-year-old.

“Since we have been training together we have had our fair share of success including a win in the Canberra Cup.”

The duo also has plans on expanding in the near future, both in relation to their numbers and within the partnership itself to include Jones’ brother, Peter Joseph.

“We have two stables operating – we have 30-40 horses in work in Canberra and we have a new stable opening up on the Sapphire Coast and we’ll have about 14 boxes down there as well.

“My brother is back involved in the business now too after leaving his milk run business and next season we will probably have a trio partnership.

“It is definitely rewarding to have success as a family and hopefully it continues into the future.”

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