STRONG CHANCE: Grafton trainerBrenden Mackay with Argyll Bay, which is contesting race seven in Grafton this afternoon.
STRONG CHANCE: Grafton trainerBrenden Mackay with Argyll Bay, which is contesting race seven in Grafton this afternoon. Jarrard Potter

Argyll Bay right in the mix to post back-to-back wins

BMK 58 HCP: After delivering Grafton trainer Brenden Mackay his first win since July 6, 2017, former Brisbane galloper Argyll Bay will be looking to post back-to-back wins when he takes to the track today.

In just his third run for Mackay, Argyll Bay stormed home to take out a win in Coffs Harbour last start on March 12, and before that a strong second place on the same track in February.

"He raced really well at Coffs and it was just really good to see that he improved in form," Mackay said.

"He is in a really rich vein of form at the moment and he pulled up great so today's race is the same grade of race and it will be his first run on his home track. I think he should get the right run of the race and on paper he looks very hard to beat."

Argyll Bay's last win at Coffs Harbour was Mackay's first winner since he saddled up Nardoo to win at Grafton on July 6, 2017 but the trainer hasn't had that many runners since then as he's been concentrating on buying yearlings and building up his stable.

"I've been buying three or four yearlings a year over the past three years. I have some great owners and currently I have 10 horses in work. I should have about nine debutants ready to race over the next six months or so, which I'm really looking forward to," Mackay said.

The well-travelled Mackay has been based at Grafton for the past couple of years, but has seen a lot of racing at home and around the world after working for leading stables in Australia and overseas, including a stint working for champion British trainer Martin Pipe.

"I spent six years in England and Ireland, and settled here in Grafton about two and a half years ago. I just love it here," he said.

"I train on a private property with a swimming pool and the Grafton region is just a great place to train horses. And, geographically, it is perfectly placed to take horses either north to Queensland or south to Sydney or the provincial tracks."

Mackay has a Pierro three-year-old filly, Melaina Rock, making her debut at Grafton today in the Maiden Hcp (1206m). Melaina Rock, from the US-bred mare Sandy Desert, is a half-sister to the winners Desert Fox (six wins in Singapore), Yuma Desert (four wins Sydney) and Diamond Master (four wins Hong Kong).