Robyn Mackellar is a name fast becoming synonymous with success in South Australia. The Lewiston (about 35 minutes away from Angle Park) mentor is the heart and soul behind the training establishment ‘Macmez’ kennels, a name derived from her surname and her partner Steve who has the moniker ‘Mez’.
Macmez kennels are only a relatively new setup with just a small team of greyhounds in work however the husband and wife team are already starting to dominate the names on the winner’s list.
Mackellar currently has nine race dogs in work, the most she has ever had at any one time and astoundingly has managed to put together 55 wins on the track in 2013 alone.
Mackellar was born and bred into the greyhound industry and although always sharing an interest in the sport, has only taken on training fairly recently.
“I have only been training for about eight years but I have had greyhounds since before I was born. My grandmother Betty Brown always had greyhounds and my mother Christine Smith still has them”.
“My parents used to train for me and then I started off with just two dogs but then the opportunity came along for my husband and me to buy a property about two years ago”.
Since switching to training, Mackellar has achieved victory with a handful of chasers one of which was the handy bitch Bachelorette who won eight races whilst in Mackellar’s S.A kennels and 17 overall. With her fair share of success over the years it is no surprise to see MACMEZ kennels going from strength to strength in recent months, most notably with star speedster Just Shine.
Affectionately known as “Phoenix”, Just Shine is a two and a half year old son of Big Daddy Cool out of the well-bred Adhara Shine. Bred and formerly raced in NSW by Llandilo duo Jane and Jeff Crawford, Just Shine has found a new lease of life since joining Mackellar’s kennel late last year. The blue dog had only won one race from ten starts when brought for a bargain price of $1800 with Mackellar never dreaming of the transformation he would undergo now as a winner of seventeen races from just 33 appearances overall.
“He is a superstar”, Mackellar beamed, “he came here with ordinary form but now he speaks for himself, he is just amazing”.
With such a turnaround there is no doubt Mackellar knows her chaser and what suits him best. A testament to this is his stunning form at Angle Park where he has now recorded fifteen wins from twenty starts. Just Shine also has a scintillating personal best of 29.66 seconds over the track and distance. With the 31 kilogram chaser boasting such strong credentials, it is a definite temptation for Mackellar to target the upcoming Nationals series however she admits that she is hesitating due to the dogs one downfall of being a poor traveller.
“He is hard work. He is good at home but as soon as you take him out of his routine he loses it. I took him to Perth and he lost a kilo in weight”.
“He just doesn’t travel well and I am tossing up about the Nationals because of that”.
Just Shine won’t have to travel too far tonight when he heads to his favourite track, Angle Park, for a crack at an open grade race over 515 metres. Drawn in box three, the quick beginner has a great chance of landing on the bunny and making it five victories in a row.
“He likes to be in the middle because he likes to use a lot of the track. He has really good company with Encosta Kahn who he has raced at his last two starts and although he (Just Shine) has won both times Encosta Kahn has drawn box one this week”, Mackellar explained.
“He has very good speed early and he knows where the line is but as long as we get to take him home each week we are happy because he doesn’t owe us anything”.
In addition to Just Shine, Mackellar is also well represented by former Queensland sprinters Dee Dee Corsair and Grainne O’Malley. Both youngsters are by champion greyhound Dashing Corsair and are owned by Desley Williams, the carer of the former staying great.
Dee Dee Corsair is out of Catwalk Queen and is yet another interstate greyhound relishing the new atmosphere and racing style.
Prior to moving to South Australia the black dog had only won two races from twelve starts but has now put together fifteen overall career wins from forty appearances with a further fourteen placings.
“He has really good box speed”, Mackellar enthused, “You need box speed especially around Angle Park”.
“It may be the finish on lure down here but he is just going super”.
Dee Dee Corsair showed his potential again on Monday night beginning well from box eight and leading all the way in a handy 30.03 seconds. With his early toe, the 30 kilogram pocket rocket should go on to win more races and has certainly proved he is capable of running quick times at the circuit with a slick 29.84 seconds posted earlier this year.
Grainne O’Malley had no luck in her race at Angle Park on Monday night, with Mackellar still happy with the 28 kilogram bitch known around the kennels as Hermione
“Grainne O’Malley always tries her best and is such an honest little girl”, Mackellar described.
Out of Deedee Rescue, the red fawn bitch has a heart as big as her body and now holds the handy record of eleven wins and thirteen minors from forty four starts, with nine of those wins since being in the astute hands of Mackellar.
With the team on fire at present there will be no slowing down for Mackellar. Although she has no intentions of expanding her residence into a breeding property just yet, there are plenty of youngsters and promising performers ready to make their way through Macmez kennels. As a full time trainer dedicating all her time to her talented team there looks to be no stopping Robyn Mackellar- a trainer on her way up within the greyhound racing industry.
Just Shine is racing tonight at Angle Park and will jump from box three in race eight at 9:11pm (Cen. Australia Standard Time)