Veteran galloper Steel Zip took his first step towards a Melbourne trip with a barrier trial at Eagle Farm on Tuesday.
Steel Zip, who will be among at least 12 Brisbane-trained horses racing at the spring carnival won’t be out of place.
Now a seven-year-old, Steel Zip has had 50 starts for seven wins and more than $500,000 in prize money but has never set foot outside Queensland.
However, trainer Pat Duff is sure Steel Zip is still up to a carnival race like the one restricted to grey-coloured horses.
Steel Zip ran last in an 800-metre heat but jockey Justin Stanley never asked him for an effort.
“I have eased back on his preparation and we gave him a very soft trial on Tuesday,” Duff said.
He said Steel Zip would have another trial and then probably head to Melbourne for the series of races for grey-coloured horses.
“The ratings should suit him and so should the distances,” Duff said.
“(Gold Coast horse) Black Cash won the final at Flemington last year and Steel Zip is at least as good as him.”
Meanwhile, Queensland’s newly crowned Stallion of the Year Sequalo looks set for another big 12 months after his son Frequendly won one of the first two-year-old trials of the season.
The Les Ross-trained Frequendly wasn’t knocked around by jockey Raymond Vigar but ran 0.5secs faster than the other another two-year-old trial winner in Says Me.
The first two-year-old race of the season in Queensland’s southeast is the annual Hopeful Plate (1000m) at Toowoomba on September 27.
The first metropolitan prize money two-year-old race is at the Gold Coast on October 4, a stand-alone Saturday meeting.