TAMWORTH trainer Craig Martin was horrified by two tragic deaths last week but will be hoping to ease the sadness of those funerals by starting with a few wins at Tamworth on Monday.
Martin was stunned when his father, Ken, 75, was killed in a work accident at the Walcha Saleyards last Friday.
On Saturday he was hit for a second time when informed of Tamworth jockey Darren Jones’ tragic death at Warialda.
“It’s going to be a very sad week,” the upset Tamworth trainer said.
His father’s sudden death, which appears to have been an accidental crushing while attending to cattle is in the hands of the police. An autopsy was being carried out in Newcastle late this week.
“Dad had been through a lot lately,” he said.
“And then for this to happen.”
Ken Martin will be buried in Tamworth on Wednesday at the Lincoln Grove Lawn Cemetery.
“He didn’t want anything flash,” Craig said.
Darren Jones death came as a second shocking blast, something he could hardly comprehend when informed Saturday afternoon.
He had known “Jonesie” since he was an apprentice and helped leg him on many a horse over the years.
“I just don’t how Sheridan (Darren’s wife) can be handling this,” Craig said.
”It’s terrible for her and their two boys (Jacob and William).
Darren Jones, will be buried Thursday with family and friends to attend his service at the Tamworth Jockey Club from 1pm.
For Craig Martin it will be a venue where he hopes to win a couple of races in “Jonesie’s honour”.
Craig has four runners, two of them, Mapmaker and Our Masquerade, to run in the Shay Brennan Constructions Tamworth Cup Prelude (1200m).
He hopes one of them can win to gain automatic entry into the $100,000 Tamworth Cup (1400m) on April 30.
Mapmaker, he thinks, might be his best chance after drawing barrier seven.
The five-year-old gelding has been unlucky in his last two starts, finishing less than half a length from Caerless Choice when fifth in the $150,000 Country Championship Qualifier at Scone. He was then fourth to Pelerin in the Wild Card at Scone.
He carried 59kg in both those races but has 54.5kg on Monday.
“He won’t know himself,” Craig said.
“Plus he’s back on his home track.
“He’s been going super and really hitting his straps.”
The Tamworth Cup, he said, has always been in his target.
“There’s going to be some top horses in it so he might have to win the Prelude to get a run.”
Our Masquerade too might have to win the prelude to get a Cup run.
She’s also been ultra consistent finishing second in the Guyra Cup and then third in the Narromine Cup to Maybegrey.
“This might be a little bit too short for her though,” he said.
“I might take her to the Merriwa Cup yet.”
He also starts in-from Bullet Kid at Tamworth on Monday as well.
“He’s been flying,” he said of the gelding who has either won or finished second at his last five starts.
He thought about a Tamworth Cup for him but believes there is Class 3 race to suit on Cup day.
“He’s got a good horses weight (61.5kg) on Monday,” he said.