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Trainer Pat Duff will revert to plan B with his unlucky galloper Steel Zip after heavy rain placed the Doomben meeting in doubt for Saturday.

Duff had been very confident Steel Zip would race well in the Ashgrove Cricket Open (1600m) but those plans were thrown into disarray when 100mm rain soaked Doomben on Friday.

The seven-year-old is now headed towards the $100,000 Summer Cup (1400m) at the Sunshine Coast on Monday.

The grey has won seven races and $542,000 in prize money but in recent years has been hampered by leg problems and big weights.

Duff had intended to take Steel Zip to Melbourne for the annual greys series but cancelled the trip when he decided the gelding wasn’t up to it.

Instead Steel Zip stayed in Queensland where he was unplaced in the Recognition Hcp, Brisbane Hcp and the Gold Coast Stakes.

Since he finished seventh at the Gold Coast over 1800m Steel Zip was an easy winner in a Deagon trial on January 13.

“Steel Zip is at that stage of his career where he seems to race best on tracks between good and the early stages of soft. He has won on heavy tracks but he seems to labour through them these days.”

“Hopefully the Sunshine Coast will have dried out a bit for Monday and that should suit him. He likes the Sunshine Coast and the 1400m up there always suits him. He actually won this race two years ago.”

Duff said Steel Zip appeared well and the Deagon trial win was good.

He had booked apprentice Janette Johnson for Steel Zip at Doomben but will revert to senior rider Brad Stewart in the Sunshine Coast race.

“The Cup is a non-claiming race and anyway he got in well with only 55kgs. I would be disappointed if he didn’t race well,” Duff said.

One trainer who is hoping Doomben races is Geoff Burns who has wet tracker Ashgrovian in the Pk’s 50th Birthday Bash Hcp (1200m).

Burns said Ashgrovian had won on a very heavy track at the Sunshine Coast and had no luck at his past few starts.

Meanwhile, Brisbane Race Club staff were hoping the weather would clear overnight on Friday so that Saturday’s meeting could go ahead.

Chief steward Alan Reardon said a final decision on the meeting would likely be made first thing Saturday morning.

 
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