QUALITY: Pat Duff checks the form before the feature race at the Gympie Turf Club at the weekend.
QUALITY: Pat Duff checks the form before the feature race at the Gympie Turf Club at the weekend. Renee Albrecht

Veteran trainer offers insight into magical career

RACING: Starting off in relatively humble settings in Wondai, outstanding thoroughbred trainer Pat Duff has dedicated his entire working life to horse racing.

At the weekend, Duff was crowned the Three Cup Trainers Challenge winner after his horse Fasta Than Light claimed the Gympie Cup, securing the latest in a long line of wins for the Deagon-based horseman.

It was Duff's second Cup win after Gympie-owned horse Papilloma won in 1968.

Duff, who who has experienced success in not only country but also metropolitan racing, said some of his fondest memories in the sport stem from his first Gympie Cup winner.

"When I commenced training (horses) it was around the country areas and I was up around the Wondai area.

"My first winner was here in Gympie with a horse called Lady'o Stars.

"She was quite a good mare, we won about 10 or 12 races with her."

However, it was his connection with Gympie veterinarian Ted Fischer that would see him introduced to his first Gympie Cup winner.

"I had known Ted Fischer from when he was based at Murgon. I admired his ability as a veterinarian, he was ahead of his time.

"He (Fisher) was involved with a horse called Papilloma who had lost form.

"Ted asked me if the horse could be improved on with a bit of veterinary help, and the rest is history.

"We won 20 races with that horse, including a Gympie Cup," Duff said.

"He was a wonderful horse.

"I remember him (Papilloma) well."

Duff is now based in the Brisbane suburb of Deagon.

Gympie Times


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