Caption: Photographer Michael McInally (left), his partner Sarah Johnson, and trainer Matt Evans with Aperture after the greyhound’s recent Capalaba win. (Photo: Just Greyhound Photos)
By DAVID BRASCH
AN aperture is the opening in a lens through which light passes to enter a camera.
Box One Photography’s Michael McInally says a fast aperture is better for a lens. He says the same thing about greyhounds.
Early in May, Michael landed his first ever winner as a greyhound owner, with his first ever greyhound, when the aptly named Aperture (Fernando Bale-Bonnie’s Dream) won a maiden at Capalaba.
“He’s got me hooked,” said Michael after the victory. “I’m happy with a Capalaba maiden win … for now.”
Michael is the face behind the lens at Albion Park where he has been capturing the highs of greyhound racing since late in 2016.
And, Michael could appreciate the fact at Capalaba he was on the other side of the lens when he, partner Sarah Johnson, and Aperture’s trainer Matt Evans celebrated the win for track photographer Rick O’Donnell.
Aperture’s win came at his eighth outing and it came with some headaches for his owner.
“We paid $3000 for him as a pup at the Ipswich Auction and we probably got him by accident when the auctioneer missed another bid,” said Michael.
“Sarah and I had him at our Collingwood Park home for some time and Sarah trained him initially. “He went 20.30 at Capalaba as a pup before he started so we knew he had ability.”
A few unplaced runs and then four seconds in a row, before an indiscretion, saw Aperture’s race career up in the clouds.
“Matt Evans was buying a photo from me after one of his dogs won at Albion Park and he asked what we had done with Aperture,” said Michael.
“He asked if he could train him. That was late last year and with Matt knowing he had to clear him in a steward’s trial before racing again.”
That was not as easy as expected with the floods interrupting racing and trialling at Capalaba for months.
“He won his clearance trial by 11 lengths in 20.20,” said Michael.
The maiden win in 20.26 as the $2 favourite had another upshot to the victory.
“Matt had three runners in the maiden and he needed his wife Sally to come to Capalaba to handle,” said Michael.
“Sally was handling her first ever dog in a race and she got to box Aperture, who won. It was a huge celebration for us all.”
Michael McInally is third generation race photographer.
His now 85-year-old grandfather Nev started the business in 1974 concentrating on country tracks in south-east Queensland.
Nev’s son Paul, 62, came on board and Michael and his now 23-year-old brother David all followed them into the business.
“It is a real family affair,” said Michael. “Dad and David still do the country race meetings and will often come to Albion Park to help out on big nights.”
Michael’s partner, Sarah, is leading trainer Tony Brett’s niece and a familiar face around racetracks for a decade or more.
She has just retired her prolific winning bitch Bubbles And Brie and plans to breed with the 19-times winner.
Michael is already looking at another greyhound purchase in the future.