Surgery and a six month long lay off.
Oaks champion and Stochampionats runner up Darling Mearas is back on the racetracks again.
After getting her first start back out of the way, her trainer is now looking to be more aggressive with her.
"I decided to give her a nice trip her first start back, this time I will get her more involved in the race" says trainer/driver Stefan Persson going in to Wednesday's start in V86® in Kalmar.
As a three year old Darling Mearas (V86®-3) won the Swedish Oaks and last year as a four year old she finished second in Axevalla's Stochampionatet after a tremendous finish.
But in the starts following the Axevalla one, it wasn't the same Darling Mearas we saw - which had an explanation.
"She always races great when she gets the chance to. So we started looking for what was bothering her and found bone spurs in both her knees. They looked like fish hooks and were rubbing against the tendons" says Stefan Persson who despite all that is positive about her five year old campaign.
"She had surgery last fall and has been training without any break since then. She's had a good winter and we got a lot of training in to her.
What are your plans for Darling Mearas this year?
"You have to make plans based on her earnings. She is five years has made SEK five millions so it's not that easy to find races for her. Maybe the national championships and the European championships for mares if she races well going in to those races. We have taken it slow the first half of the year in order for her to be able to deliver during the second half".
"Can't wish for more"
After a good six months away from the racetracks, Darling Mearas made her first start back in Stoeliten at Örebro in the beginning of May. After a trip along the pylons she finished well to get up for third with her trainer in the bike.
"She trotted 1:12.0 over the distance (2,140 meters) and probably 1:10 the last kilometer. I can't wish for more and it looks very good for her going forward" says Stefan Persson.
Wednesday will be her next start in V86 at Kalmar racetrack. She has drawn post three again, but this time she's in against the boys.
"She hasn't made more than 17 starts and she's in tough but she'll be fine. I decided to give her a nice trip her first start back, this time I will get her more involved in the race" says the Halmstad based trainer who also is planning an equipment change.
"She raced with open bridle, with shoes and in a regular sulky in her last start. This time I might put a blind bridle on her. That will make her leave the gate a lot quicker".
"Been aiming at this race"
In the class I race with SEK 125,000 for the winner Stefan Persson is racing Wingait Erik (V86-7). The five year old was often seen on V75® during the past winter.
"This is a horse who really has surprised me. He never showed much in training but he's got one heck of an attitude and has done very well for us. He doesn't have the best results in his last starts, he got tired and we gave him a break" says trainer and driver Stefan Persson.
The five year old has raced once after the break and the trainer is optimistic about this start.
"I was very pleased with him in his last start at Jägersro. We'll try to be a little more aggressive this time, I've kind of aimed him at this race. If the pace is high and he gets a decent trip he's not without chance in here".