By Isaac Murphy
Darryl Mcgrath has never worked harder.
The plumber and greyhound trainer's Jimboomba kennels are as full as they’ve ever been but it’s a nice problem to have.
McGrath will bring a fit and firing team to Albion Park tonight for heats of the Mick Byrne Memorial Fifth Grade series.
“Me and my young fella Brandon get up at about 4.30am and get the dogs going, I’ll shuffle off to work and do a bit of plumbing and he’ll hold the fort till I get home take back over at 6pm and jump into bed about midnight,” Mcgrath said.
“There’s no rest, but gee it makes it worth it when they go out and win I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
With the kennels at full capacity, McGrath runners are becoming more prevalent at Albion Park and the Mick Byrne Memorial couldn’t come at a better time for the trainer to keep that winning feeling.
“The kennels are overflowing at the moment and it’s just too much work to keep working them up the straight at home, so I’ve just had to start nominating them,” McGrath said.
“I had seven of them in Wednesday and six tonight night, it’s by far the most I’ve ever had in work.
“This race comes along at the perfect time for us, with a few dogs up at the Rockhampton Cup the fields are probably diluted a little bit and it gives honest fifth grader’s like mine a chance at a final.”
McGrath’s three runners have avoided running against each other with the first two from the four heats to advance to next weeks final, McGrath’s first chance coming out of box six in heat one with the inform Power Service.
“She’d been charging home over the 395 metres, so I whacked her back up to the 520 and she’s been showed some real resilience to stick on and win a couple of weeks ago,” McGrath said.
“She’s got a tough heat, she’s not the quickest out of the lids and she’s got Bill Elson’s dog Katie Who outside her who looks the likely leader and Crazy Bella who is jumping well inside her, if she can manage to get the best of the start she’s just as strong as those two dogs.”
Mako Mac jumps from the pink in Heat two and McGrath believes while the bitch has shown good signs in her run home she’ll need luck from the draw.
“Mako Mac has been a bit hit or miss since she’s come back from the Townsville Futurity I can’t seem to get her running consistently, but she’s not without a chance if she puts her best foot forward,” McGrath said.
“The eight doesn’t bode well for her, she’s one dog that will crash for the fence, so she’ll really have to ping and spear across them if she wants to lead.”
“Her last sectional has always been her problem and she’s just starting to get a bit stronger, she won’t come from back in the field to win, but if she’s handy could run past a few.”
McGrath’s last runner in the Mick Byrne heats comes in the form of the enigmatic Georgie Mac, who was capable of producing a big run from her favoured wide draw (8).
“It depends what mood she’s in, she’s the fastest dog in the kennel by lengths on her day but she’s got a mind of her own,” McGrath said.
“She’s drawn perfectly in the eight, she’ll hold that straight line and if she can get to the front she’ll look like a champion and if she doesn’t she could see them all home.”
McGrath bred the majority of his runners out of a Dyna Villa x Miss Elly Mac litter in February 2016 who have combined for fifty-seven wins and over $143,000 in prize money, and the emergence of a new star has the trainer looking to continue the line.
“They’ve been an unbelievable litter for me Georgie Mac, Mako Mac, Zenyatta Miss, No Clyde Needed and El Nunu is the one they forget about she ran in the places twenty-eight time from her first thirty-one starts before she was injured, if you told me they’d go on to do what they’ve done I wouldn’t have believed you,” McGrath said.
No Clyde Needed who goes around in Free for All company with fellow McGrath runner Corykodi tomorrow night has come on in leaps and bounds since broaching the 520 metres a few months ago and will be first port of call when the kennels start to free up.
“She’s really surprised me she’s always had a bit of class about her, but she’s become that much stronger every time you put her around, she’s stamped herself as the number one brood bitch for the kennel,” McGrath said.