She was one of the state' leading apprentices back in the 2015/16 season and after almost two and a half year's out of the saddle, Caitlin Jones is back doing what she does best; riding winners.
Jones returned to race riding in February and has since recorded 16 wins. She sits only four wins outside the Top 10 for winners ridden in 2019 and has enjoyed her most successful month to date with nine winners throughout May.
"The dream of getting back to race riding never really disappeared. I did reach a point where I thought I was never going to be able to return as I had reached my heaviest. But after a few changes in my life, I lost weight and the glimmer of light to get back to riding got brighter and I continued to work hard and fortunately for me, my body responded," Jones said.
With nine wins she topped the South Australian standings in May along with the in-form Todd Pannell. Jones rode at 23.7% strike rate during May and even recorded two more wins than the leading South Australian jockey, Raquel Clark.
It really was a massive May for Jones who started off the month with a win on Grant Young's outsider Olympic Academy on Oaks Day. She unfortunately missed a start in her first Group 1 race when Phillip Stokes' So We Are didn't gain a start as an emergency in the Oaks.
"It’s been a brilliant journey back so far and I wish to continue the success I’ve been having. I have the most amazing family who have stood by me and believed in my abilities. My brother Lachlan is doing a remarkable job as my riding agent and it’s wonderful to have that family tie, as we are enjoying our success together."
Jones recorded her third career treble at Penola last Sunday and had a double the day before at Morphettville with wins for bosses Richard and Chantelle Jolly.
"Richard and Chantelle have been nothing but supportive since returning to their stable and both encouraged me about my decision to pursue my riding career once again."
"They had no hesitations about re-signing my indentures to them. I can’t thank either of them enough for that."
Since leaving the sport and the Jolly yard there have been some big changes around the place as she returns to the stable with not just one but now two bosses.
"Chantelle is a very smart young woman. It is impressive to see what she has been able to accomplish so far in her training career with Richard. She is a pair of fresh eyes and has an absolute love for the racing and the horses."
With 177 winners to her name across her career, it's easy to forget Jones was one of the stars of the Apprentice Academy with 55 winners in 14/15 and 62 winners in 15/16 before she stepped away from the sport in June 2016.
"My routine this time around is much different. I only have a minimum riding weight at 56kg, which works a lot better for me. Last time around, part of the reason I struggled with weight issues was because I was continually putting my body under so much pressure to ride to light. I've changed a few things in my diet and I run regularly as part of my exercise regime."
She's back and riding beautifully and with six rides at Morphettville on Saturday, she’s keen to start June in the exact same fashion that she finished May.
"My main goal now is to out ride my metropolitan claim before my time finishes. It’s a little bit of a task but I have confidence in myself and have had great support up to today and that will continue for the rest of this racing season and the year."
"I’m in a great place mentally and physically and just really happy to be back out there making my dreams come true."