Jim Byrne will resume a 30-year association when he rides Steel Zip for his former master Pat Duff at the Gold Coast.
Veteran Steel Zip will be having his 82nd start but only his second with Byrne in the saddle when they contest the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup at the Gold Coast.
Byrne was apprenticed to Duff in the 1980s and rode more than 200 winners as a junior rider.
The two have remained good friends but Byrne has rarely ridden for Duff in recent years.
“It is just the way Jim’s career has gone. He has ridden interstate and overseas and for some of the big stables,” Duff said.
“He rode a stack of winners for me as a kid and over the years he has also ridden winners for me. But these days it is pretty rare I can get him.”
Jeff Lloyd and Brad Stewart have recently ridden Steel Zip but both were unavailable.
“Jeff had to ride for his main trainer, Toby Edmonds, and Brad was suspended. I thought it was a good chance to get Jim and he will suit Steel Zip,” Duff said.
Steel Zip has been solid in his recent starts without getting into the prize money.
“He had no luck in the Weetwood Handicap and then at his last start two weeks ago at Doomben he had no luck again from a bad alley but finished only a bit over a length out of the place,” Duff said.