By Garrick Knight
It’s been a long, hard few years for Winton horsewoman Tracie McGrannachan and unfortunately, it’s not about to get any easier.
A botched surgery and ongoing health problems were compounded by a serious accident involving her daughter.
So, the win of Dangerous on her hometrack yesterday was a welcome relief from what has been and is to come.
The five-year-old has his fair share of talent but has proved a problem horse the last 18 months and McGrannachan is happy to seem back to something like his best.
“His bloods were all sorts of wrong last year and we just couldn’t get on top of it.
“We tried injecting his hocks and he ran fourth the start after that.
“He was still a stallion at that point and was very easy to handle. Good around mares and that sort of thing.
“Then he reared up, tore his shoe off and it took half of his foot away.
“We decided it was the right time to geld him since he was going to be out a fair while recovering.”
After a long spell, Dangerous resumed last month at Wyndham, but he broke mid race and tailed the field home.
It’s not uncommon for him and the fact he wears spreaders lends itself to that.
“He’s always sort of cross-fired and goes close to a knee. He’s very narrow in front.”
McGrannachan had to come up to Auckland earlier this month to milk her daughters’ dairy cow herd while she was in hospital and that meant Dangerous was entrusted to her Winton neighbor, Chelsea Faithful.
“Two years ago, my daughter fell off her quad bike during a flood and broke her leg.
“She’s just had her fifth – and hopefully last – operation to fix it so I come up and look after the cows for her.
“Chelsea used to lease my stables from me when I was in a partnership with John Cox.
“Now she has her own barn and I am back at mine as John and I no longer train together.”
She paid credit to Faithful and her horse instincts as well as a high capacity for hard work.
“She can read a horse so well, it’s a real skill.
“And she works so hard. She gets up at 5am and does her team then goes and works full time for Nathan Williamson.
“Once she finishes up there, she goes back and finishes up her own ones as well at night.
“A real hard worker.”
McGrannachan heads home just in time for Christmas and her team of three pacers.
But she’s got a another big challenge dawning on the horizon after being diagnosed with a serious illness recently.
“I start treatment on the 24th and might have to have surgery at the beginning of next year, I don’t know just yet.
“They actually noticed something two years ago when I was having a follow up scan after a botched gall blader surgery.
“But it was never followed up and now I find myself in a potentially far worse situation.”