Duff's two-pronged attack
DEAGON trainer Pat Duff has won a swag of top-flight races around Queensland, but today he crosses the border for a two-pronged tilt at the 2010 The Point Ballina Cup (1600m).
Duff's gallopers Ausworld and Cocktail Supreme are among the selection of visitors trying to grab the cash and run with just four locals to contest the $50,000 feature.
Cocktail Supreme, a seven-year-old son of Dane Supreme, has a fair list of big scalps on his resume including Group One winner Alverta and Black Ink – but no race brought more excitement than his 2007 victory in the Gunsynd Quality at Doomben. “He beat Sniper's Bullet that day,” Duff said with great enthusiasm.
Sniper's Bullet, a three-time Group One winner, would obviously donkey-lick the Ballina Cup field today but those days are behind Duff's galloper.
“He has gone over the top a bit from his best,” Duff said. “But he will be thereabouts today.”
The other Deagon runner, Ausworld, comes to Ballina less credentialed but in better condition.
The lightly-raced six-year-old was unlucky when fourth last start and before that got the bob in a class six on a heavy track at Eagle Farm. Three of his five wins have come at 1200m but Duff has seen the horse improve to a miler.
“His run was good last start and while he didn't get a lot of favours I am confident he can see out the mile,” Duff said.
Ausworld will be ridden by former Northern Rivers hoop Scott Seamer while Duff has booked the in-form Daniel Griffin, who has three wins and two placings on Cocktail Supreme, for that ride.
“My two are well-weighted with good jocks on board so I am feeling good about their chances,” he said.
The trainer of stakes-winning horses such as Heart of the Citi, Our Cavalier and Hard to Catch, isn't a regular visitor to Ballina but he is hoping to get on the winners list today.
“I'd love a Ballina Cup,” Duff said.
“I've won a Lismore Cup and a Murwillumbah Cup so hopefully I can add another from south of the border.”