Trainer Pat Duff hopes veteran galloper Steel Zip will take the first step towards honouring one of his wife Dinah’s last wishes in the Broadbeach Junior AFL Handicap at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Steel Zip was the last horse raced by Dinah Duff who died two years ago after a long battle with cancer.
She was a respected horsewoman and owned many smart gallopers.
Steel Zip was one of her favourites and the grey is still raced by Pat Duff and his children.
He has been a great money-spinner for the family, winning seven races and $539,000 in stakes, a fine return on his $13,000 sale price.
Duff hasn’t been to Melbourne since taking the flying Star Of Florida in 2002.
“Star of Florida ran records in Sydney but he went terribly Melbourne and we also took Handsome Prince (who won 21 races) to Melbourne and he broke down,” Duff said.
Duff has a special reason for wanting to take Steel Zip to Melbourne for the greys’ race at Flemington next month.
“Funny thing, Dinah loved us taking horses to Sydney but she was never fussed on Melbourne. Maybe it was because we had so much bad luck there,” Duff said.
“But one of the last things she asked me to do was take Steel Zip to Melbourne for their greys’ races.”
Now a seven-year-old, Steel Zip hasn’t raced since running third in the Listed Ascot Handicap at Eagle Farm on July 5.
However, he has had two trials and improved lengths in the latter when winning at Deagon over 800m on September 23.
“He is coming along nicely and the second trial was handy. We don’t do much with him except the beach these days,” Duff said.
“It would be a lovely tribute to Dinah if we could get to Melbourne.”