Mackayla Clarke admits her life became a little chaotic, but it's now back on track and her love of greyhound racing has returned.
"It was crazy," the 20-year-old trainer said.
"I had gone from school to university, was working with the dogs, I hadn't had a break and I felt I really needed one. So I stepped away, went overseas and had a holiday, just to freshen up."
Mackayla began as a 16-year-old in 2019 and has enjoyed some outstanding success, winning several races at her home track at Richmond, and also having success at Wentworth Park. "I won three in a row with Wishing at Wentworth Park early last year".
But even that success didn't hide her need for a break so she stepped away from the sport for eight months from July last year until March this year.
"I had a great time overseas but I really missed this sport too much. So I started again, and this time around I am loving it and it's going great. I now have my full focus on the greyhounds, and everything is working well. With my uncle Raymond Thomas we have 21 in the kennel and that keeps us busy, but it's really enjoyable again."
It did take some time for her first winner back to arrive when Fantasia Queen won at Richmond in September, but the victories have begun to flow more.
On November 13, at Richmond, she achieved her first winning double since returning when Midnight Star made it three wins on the trot, before three races later Lola Pepper also saluted.
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.