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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 53106 Jones Not Daunted By Dubai Stars

Jones not daunted by Dubai stars

Jones not daunted by Dubai stars

Adelaide-based jockey Caitlin Jones says she is embracing the opportunity to compete against some of the world's premier riders in Dubai this weekend.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, the 31-year-old will partner the Will Clarken-trained pair of Parsifal and He's A Balter in lucrative sprint races at Meydan as part of the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

While a weighing room that includes champion riders Frankie Dettori, Mikael Barzelona, William Buick and James Doyle might ordinarily be a daunting experience for a young jockey riding abroad for the first time, Jones said she is instead relishing the opportunity.

"To be quite honest, at the moment it's still a little bit surreal," Jones told RSN927.

"It probably won't occur to me too much until I'm sitting in the barriers with them, but obviously I've looked through the field and I've seen who I'm up against.

"It's not only the riders that I'm up against, I'm up against some quality horses and trainers that are renowned here and have had great success here.

"I've been given a wonderful opportunity by Will Clarken and the owners behind both of these horses to be here and ride, so that gives me enough confidence in myself to go out there and perform as best I can on the back of these horses that are giving me nothing but good feels.

"For me it's a dream come true."

Parsifal will tackle Charlie Appleby's dual-Group 3 winner Lazuli and last-start Stakes winner Mutaraffa in the Listed Dubai Sprint (1200m), while He's A Balter will take his place in the Dubai Sprint Consolation, over the same track and distance.

While she acknowledged the quality of her rivals, Jones thinks both horses can prove competitive based on the way they've settled in and worked since arriving at Meydan last week.

A four-time Stakes placegetter under Clarken's care, Parsifal was last seen when running third to Marabi in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield.

Like his stablemate, Jones has never partnered He's A Balter in a race but is taking confidence form his recent form, which includes a Stakes placing at Morphettville in December.

"Parsifal's race especially, it's a very quality field," she said.

"Both Parsifal and He's A Balter are in very good form in Australia and I think Parsifal's form will hold up exceptionally well.

"Both races are actually looking like they'll be run to suit our horses.

"I'll delve into it a lot more now once the fields are out, my homework will be to work out where I think I'll be (in the run) and who I'll be following into it.

"I hope I can do everyone proud at home and I hope these two boys can do the same thing."

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