No Gympie trained horse in Gympie Cup
LAST Saturday's Wondai Cup winner, Unbowed, gave a powerful second string to the bow of Brisbane trainer Pat Duff ahead of tomorrow's River Junction Gympie Cup.
The Duff trained Fasta Than Light appeared to have a stranglehold on the Gympie Cup after his 10¼ length win in the Gympie Muster Cup and a six-length victory in the Bundaberg Gold Cup a few weeks ago.
However, Unbowed, with a six length all the way win in the 1465m Wondai Cup last weekend, signified that he would be right in proceedings over the 1600m of the River Junction Gympie Cup.
Unbowed was nominated for the Gympie Cup but did not accept, leaving Fasta Than Light to carry the stable hopes in the Cup.
Pat Duff, who grew up in the South Burnett and trained his first winner as a 21-year-old on the Wondai track, made it two successive wins in the Wondai Cup with Fasta than Light having won last years Wondai Cup.
Unbowed, a seven-year-old gelding by Refuse to Bend from a Night Shift mare, was bred and is raced by English businessman, David Kirk who resides on the Sunshine Coast.
The 88-year-old Mr Kirk is currently on a round Australia cruise and bred the third dam of last year's Melbourne Cup winner, Prince of Penzance.
Unbowed was ridden by apprentice Hannah English whose grandmother is a cousin to Pat Duff.
The trainer said Unbowed "loves” rain affected tracks and so found the Wondai sand to his liking.
Four of Unbowed's seven wins have been on rain affected tracks at Caloundra. The $2.80 favourite defeated the Darryl Gardiner trained, Leaps and Bounds (C. Bayliss) with Famechon Baroness (M. O'Brien) a luckless third.
Pat Duff will be the special guest speaker at the Members Luncheon tomorrow prior to the Cup meeting.
He appears to have a mortgage on the $5000 Three Cups Gold Rush Challenge with Fasta than Light currently leading the points tally on 31.
Co-leader Foregone is not in the cup with the only other contenders being last year's Gympie Cup winner, Blaze to Fortune (11) and Bundaberg's Gas Burner (15).
With 30, 10, five and two points for the first four home in the cup, the latter two would have to win the to stand a chance of the $5000 going to their trainers.
With more than five decades as a trainer, Pat Duff won the Gympie Cup 48 years ago with the Gympie owned Papilloma.
Papilloma, part owned by vet Ted Fisher, carried 62.5kg to win the Gympie Cup in 1968, and then backed up in the '69 Cup with 66kg, finishing a head second to Kingaroy trained Blue Tact.
There is no Gympie trained horse in tomorrow's Gympie Cup, bringing to an end a very successful era for Gympie horses in the race.
Eight of the last 10 Gympie Cup winners have been trained on the Gympie track.
Peter Fleming won Cups with Craiglea Warrior, Try Some Magic and Craiglea Blondie up to 2011.
Barry Gill enjoyed a run of successes with Nevada Gambler (2009 and 2010) followed by Harney (2012) and Troilus Fuse (2013) prior to the Kerry Munce trained River of Glory in 2014.
Last year's Gympie Cup winner, Gladstone trained Blaze to Fortune was the outsider of the field in beating home Glenthorn Avenue and Fasta than Light.
Blaze to Fortune is again a Cup contender tomorrow, having drawn barrier 1.
Imported French galloper Artibai has top-weight of 62kg in tomorrow's cup and has travelled many miles to join the field.
Now trained at Mackay by leading Queensland country trainer, John Manzelmann, Artibai, is a last start Townsville winner following a second in the Cairns Amateurs Cup and a win on his home track. Artibai began his racing career in France, winning at Chantilly over 2500m at his third race start.