Veteran sprinter Steel Zip makes his belated return to the winter carnival at Ipswich and trainer Pat Duff believes he just needs a little luck to win another stakes race.
Steel Zip will be lining up for his fourth attempt at Saturday’s Listed Eye Liner stakes (1350m) after missing last year’s race to run in the Rockhampton Newmarket in which he was second.
Duff had planned to run Steel Zip in the Group Two QTC Cup on Oaks day two weeks ago but the meeting was washed out.
“I then entered him for the QTC Cup when it was rescheduled for last Saturday but when he drew barrier 19 I scratched him,” Duff said.
“It isn’t ideal going into the Eye Liner first up at 1350.
“He won’t be wanting on the score of fitness. He has had three trials and I have taken him to Ipswich twice in recent weeks to gallop between races.”
Steel Zip had his first winter carnival start in 2011 but seems to be racing with as much zest as ever and Duff said there were no plans to retire him.
“Obviously with older horses you always keep an eye on them. But he seems to still be enjoying himself so he can race on,” Duff said.
Jeff Lloyd, who won three races on Steel Zip earlier this season, has stuck with the gelding.
“Steel Zip really travels for Jeff and the horse hasn’t had much luck in Eye Liners to date. Maybe Jeff can change that,” Duff said.
“Also I hope I got rid of all my bad luck last week. I went all the way to Gayndah (300km north of Brisbane) last weekend and my runner dislodged the jockey.
“Then I got beaten a nose in the first at Toowoomba and a head and a head in the second.”