There was a time trainer Edward Cummings was concerned Queenmaker wouldn’t make it to the racetrack but she must be relishing life as a racehorse as she heads to Randwick on Saturday for her 10th run in her preparation.
It’s only her second racing campaign but when she lines up in the Racing And Sports Handicap (1800m) it will match the amount of runs in her initial campaign – proving just how hardy the four-year-old has become.
Cummings revealed that as a young horse Queenmaker chipped a bone in a hock and at one stage it was touch and go whether she’d race at all.
“We were behind the eight ball in terms of when we got her started and that was on account of an injury in the paddock as a younger horse,’’ Cummings said.
“The vet felt like she had a poor prognosis for racing.
“We had to just give her time off and pray, and that seemed to do the trick. It meant we started a bit later than we would have liked for what was going to be a three-year-old Oaks campaign.
“We did her best to squeeze her into the Queensland Oaks (last year) but got balloted.”
So that’s a good indication of what regard Cummings held her in from the start. He concedes Queenmaker has been her own worst enemy at times but her consistency is also there to be seen with two wins and five seconds from her nine starts for the prep.
“She’s met a few decent horses in her time and she’s the sort of horse that can be a bit difficult to ride,’’ he said.
“And the record suggests that, she’s run second eight times and she’s hardly been beaten more than a length and a half when she has run second.
“She’s been unlucky and could quite easily have had four wins on the bounce. She’s managed to either find one better or win by four.”
Queenmaker, $3.20 with TAB on Thursday, did win by four lengths at Canterbury a month ago and Cummings said her performance when runner-up to Manbehindthemoney at the same track on June 7 was enormous.
Zac Lloyd, who won the mare two starts back, is back from suspension at Randwick and takes 1.5kg off her back so she’ll drop 3kg on her last start second plus returns to mares grade.
Cummings said despite an awkward alley at the 1800m start there’ll be no changing her pattern so expect her to be rolling forward.
“At this stage of the campaign it would be silly to start trying something new,’’ he said.
“The 1800m start does afford horses that like to bowl along the opportunity to take their time to get across because it’s not long until you’re in the back straight.
“It would depend on what other horses are doing in the race whether there’s pressure early and then jockeys back off and get into their spots. If there’s continued pressure maybe we get the opportunity to pop into a spot.”
It’s possible that 10 could be a nice round number to end another preparation on and a win could encourage Cummings to prepare for another shot at a black type race in her third campaign.
Meanwhile, Duais is enjoying a short break following her two start Queensland winter cameo.
The rising six-year-old pushed her earnings over $3 million with her third in the Group 2 Q22 at Eagle Farm earlier this month.
“She’s only having a brief let up and will be back in a couple of weeks time,’’ he said.
“We’ll weigh up whether we think a kick off point in something like the Winx is the right call or if we wait for a mile race in September.”
– Racing NSW