Back to country roots for trainer Pat Duff

Veteran trainer Pat Duff will return to his origins when Fasta Than Light contests the Country Cups Challenge Final at Doomben.

Saturday’s $75,000 final over 1600 metres is the culmination of 16 heats over several months at country tracks around Queensland.

Racing Queensland chief executive Brendan Parnell said the series had been introduced after the success of the Battle of The Bush promotion in the winter carnival.

“The heats covered a large area of the state with areas such as Mount Isa, Roma, Innisfail, Emerald, etc. It helps highlight racing in country areas for the local media and sponsors,” Parnell said.

Duff has been one of Queensland’s best known trainers for more than 50 years and began his trade in the south Burnett region, 300km north of Brisbane.

Although now based at Deagon, he still takes horses to country areas and has been a regular visitor with Fasta Than Light who won the recent Gympie Cup, a heat of the series.

Fasta Than Light is regarded as one of the best sand track horses in the state but has some solid grass track form.

“It is a great promotion and a chance for a lot of people who wouldn’t usually race in Brisbane to experience a big day,” Duff said.