Deja Blue - "the operation was life-saving"

by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

Her form-line doesn't look flash but the stats don't tell the full story with Deja Blue - or the health scare she's had to overcome to get back to the races.

The Mach Three mare has drawn one over the 1980m in Race 10, the First Direct Taxis Mobile Pace at Addington on Sunday.

"The draw helps," says trainer Michael Cations, "she has gate speed so she should be handy early."

Decisions will then be made as to whether driver Terry Chmiel hands up or tries to lead all the way.

"She could front run if she had to."

Deja Blue's recent form reads 080 but it is a bit misleading. The six-year-old has won just two of her 42 starts, the last being in July 2021, but she has been a consistently good performer with 14 placings.

In recent starts she's been up against much better fields including the likes of Evangalist, Arabian Blue and Republican Party and she's also had some tough luck in the running.

Her fast-finishing fifth behind Sweet Belle on June 2 was particularly eye-catching.

At R50 she is also the equal top-rated horse in the field, along with Lynyrd Skynyrd.

"She's been working well and is keen as mustard," says Cations.

But it hasn't been easy for Deja Blue over the past few months. Last year she had major surgery.

"She had cancer in her face," says Cations, "they had to remove 300 grams of cancerous matter."

"It was a very aggressive cancer, the operation was life-saving."

She still bears the scars of her ordeal - "it's clear to see, she has an indentation in her face."

As a result of her medical issues, Deja Blue did not race between July last year and May 2022.

But she's back now, and Cations says she appears to have come through her ordeal well.

"She's keen to race and she's as tough as old boots".

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