Popular sprinter Steel Zip is set to race on after his Doomben assignment but trainer Pat Duff but admits retirement isn’t far away for the veteran grey.
Steel Zip, who has a cult following in Brisbane, will be having his 85th start in Saturday’s Open Handicap (1350m) at Doomben.
The 10-year-old showed there was still some fire in his belly when fifth behind smart Sydney galloper Oxford Poet at Doomben three weeks ago.
Duff said he had heard talk Steel Zip would be retired after Saturday’s race but that did not come from him.
“I don’t know how that got started. Whenever anyone asks me about retiring him I say we just take it one run at a time,” Duff said.
“He is still happy around the stables and still seems happy to race. But the first time he shows me he has had enough I will retire him.”
“Of course nothing goes on forever and he is ten now. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself while he is content and racing well.”
Duff was more than happy with Steel Zip’s last run when the gelding loomed to win at the 250m mark.
“Brad (Stewart) got off him and said Steel Zip still seemed keen to race. He said he was probably about 1-1/2 lengths off a horse like Oxford Poet these days,” Duff said.
“There are no Oxford Poets in the field on Saturday and it is probably 1-1/2 lengths easier than his last race.”
Premier Brisbane jockey Jeff Lloyd will partner Steel Zip on Saturday.