By Mike Hedge
It is an injury associated more with footballers than racehorses, and not one that generally results in improved performance.
But for the one-time brilliant speedster Queen Delight, a torn hamstring has led to a whole new world of on-track opportunities.
And the latest of them is available to the mare when she runs in the Aspen Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
For most of her career, Queen Delight relied on blistering speed.
In the first four of her her five wins she led throughout, her most important victory coming in the Apache Cat at Cranbourne in October, 2011.
For the next 12 months her card was marked. As well as having to carry more weight, her racing pattern was well established and she became a sitting shot for her rivals.
Trainer Doug Harrison then returned to the scene of Queen Delight’s best win to run in the same Cranbourne race a year later and for once she didn’t lead and finished a fair fourth.
Harrison discovered later she had suffered the injury that has given her a new dimension.
“She tore a hamstring at Cranbourne in the Apache Cat and since then she hasn’t had that explosive speed,” Harrison said.
Queen Delight was pushed to get to the front at her next two runs but folded badly to finish near the tail of the field, leading Harrison to employ new tactics for her latest preparation.
“She’s been ridden back lately and it seems to have suited her,” he said.
Queen Delight showed her appreciation for the new racing style when she scored three runs back at Moonee Valley when she drew wide, stayed wide and scored narrowly.
“Dwayne Dunn rode her that day and when he got off he said he could hardly believe the run,” Harrison said.
“The other day at Caulfield she went back and sat wide and she ran well again.”
Harrison also has Falcent engaged in the Coolalinga Handicap (1100m), a race in which he is hoping blinkers will encourage an improved first-up effort.
AAP TURF mh
© Australian Associated Press Pty Limited (AAP) 2013
Race 4 at 1:50pm Falcent.
Race 7 at 3:40pm Queen Delight.