Training racehorses can test the patience at the best of times and for a small stable like the one Brian McGrath has in work at Cranbourne, that patience can certainly wear a bit thin at times.
After an apprenticeship with a number of different stables, McGrath took out his licence in 2016 and had success later that year from his small team.
However, it took until a couple of midweek meetings back at Sandown, February 10, for McGrath to break through for his maiden city success when D’Jumbuck scored, and as luck would have it the trainer was back in the winner’s enclosure with Larrikin last week.
McGrath saddles two runners on Wednesday looking to extend that winning streak to three midweek Sandown winners in succession.
D’Jumbuck returns to contest the The Tile Importer Handicap (1500m) while Old Fashioned runs in the Ladbrokes Plate (1500m).
Melbourne’s leading rider Jamie Jah sticks with D’Jumbuck after coaxing him home after having a wide run when successful over 1300m on February 10.
“He’s got to step up again, against horses with more experience, but we’re happy with him and we think it’s the right step for him.
“Barrier one, he should be a bit closer, with a bit of cover, and if he can switch off and show that turn of foot, he’ll go really well.”
McGrath said switching D’Jumbuck from blinkers to winkers had helped in his most recent outing.
Old Fashioned lines up for his third start on Wednesday after two runs at Pakenham.
He finished third on debut over 1200m before rising to 1400m when sixth, beaten less than two lengths, on February 11.
“He’s gone quite well in those two Pakenham maidens,” McGrath said.
“It was a nice first start, running on for third, and then last start, drawn badly, he went right back to last and ran on nicely.
“He’s going the right way. The step up in trip should suit, the track should suit, and drawn better this time, I’m hoping he won’t have to be ridden as far back.
“I think both will be nice horses next prep, but I think they deserve to take their chances and we want them to take that chance on Wednesday.”
D'Jumbuck and Jamie Kah winning at Sandown, picture Racing Photos