Two of Queensland’s underrated sprinters Steel Zip and Tomboy confirmed interstate plans when they ran the quinella in the Listed Tattersall’s Member’s Cup at Eagle Farm.
Steel Zip ($6.50), ridden perfectly to give jockey Brad Stewart a winning double, edged out Tomboy ($4 fav) to score by a half-neck in Saturday’s 1600-metre feature.
Outsider Drumshanbo ($71) finished third a further 1-3/4 lengths away.
Steel Zip jumped to the front but Stewart allowed the four-year-old to settle back in fourth place when the speed was slow in the early stages.
The son of Canadian Silver was then hooked out wide in search of firmer footing on the heavy track before letting down strongly to prevail in a photo-finish.
“That was a pretty good win and I hope the weather down south stays the same as it has lately,” Duff said.
“He slugged it out all the way and I’ll have a think about it but he’ll probably go down for the Newmarket Handicap at Newcastle.
“He’s a hard horse to place in the winter and if I don’t send him down he’ll be freshened for the winter.”
The Group Three Newmarket Handicap (1400m) will be run at Newcastle on March 22.
Trainer Rob Heathcote could not fault the gritty performance from runner-up Tomboy.
“That was a huge run,” Heathcote said.
“I’m delighted the way she has been going and she’ll definitely go to Sydney now,” he said.
“This was the first gallop she’s had since the last time she won at Doomben.”
Tomboy has been troubled by feet problems all her career and is a regular beachgoer to help alleviate her soreness.
Heathcote, who landed his first Group One win with Woorim in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield last week, is hopeful of adding another trophy to his cabinet with Tomboy in the Group One Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 24.