NEVER ANY DOUBT
RACING: The question on everybody's lips in the lead-up to the Gympie Cup was there anything fasta than light?
Well, that question has been answered with a resounding no, when the Deagon flyer Fasta Than Light claimed the $20,000 feature race at the weekend, earning his trainer Pat Duff the coveted Three Cup Trainers Challenge.
"Couldn't be happier,” is how jockey Cyril Small described his feelings after the race.
The veteran hoop was handed the ride after original jockey Hannah English was sent to hospital for scans after being dismounted in race two, casting a brief shadow of doubt over the favourite.
However, Small's experience in the saddle was evident from the start, keeping his mount on the pace early.
"I had seen the horses form and knew it went well on the sand,” Small said.
"He jumped to the front and just cruised along.
"He felt like he was getting tired, but they were getting much more tired behind him.”
Country racing icon and outstanding trainer Pat Duff said his horses love of the sand track meant the race was always going to favour him.
"He (Fasta Than Light) is a natural sand galloper.
"He just keeps going all the time.
"He just wore them down.”
Duff will now prepare the six-year-old gelding for some open handicap races before hopefully returning next year to defend his title.
Duff's previous win in the Gympie Cup was in 1968 with the Ted Fisher and Bill Bishop-owned Papilloma.
In other racing news, the Jason Hoopert-ridden Magic Fish dashed home to claim the Tattersalls Racing Club Handicap.
After jumping well, the bay mare sat mid-field for the majority of the race before kicking early on the home straight to claim the win.