Ontrack’s Kiwi trainer Jacob McKay had something to smile about after last Saturday’s Karaka Millions after his daughter Isabelle’s tragic fight with a rare brain disorder.
Just a few months ago his one-year-old daughter Isabelle was diagnosed with a rare disorder called hemimegalencephaly, which affects the brain and causes frequent seizures.
The diagnosis threw McKay's life, and that of his former partner's, into disarray.
"It's been an awful few months really," said McKay.
Surgery which basically disconnects the side of the brain driving the seizures may have halted the seizures and on Saturday Jacob finally had some more good news when Aalaalune ran a slashing sixth in the Karaka Millions.
“Jacob is a great young trainer and he’s been through a terrible time with his little girl,” said Ontrack’s Grant Morgan.
“We wish the family all the best and hope the treatment is successful for Isabelle.
“Jacob’s Reliable Man filly Aalaalune was impressive in the Karaka Millions and she looks like a really good prospect for three-year-old staying races next season.
“We get Jacob to break in and pre-trainer our purchases from the Karaka Sale and he does a fantastic job.
“His father Peter won the first Karaka Millions and is a very successful trainer in New Zealand while his brother Shaun is one of the best jockeys there.
“Ontrack wishes Jacob every success with his team in New Zealand, but more importantly we wish the family all the very best with Isabelle’s battle against an awful illness,” said Grant Morgan.