Gallant grey Steel Zip will be set one more task this campaign after his third to champion sprinter Buffering at the Gold Coast.
Steel Zip was three-deep in Saturday’s Magic Millions QTIS Plate (1300m) and trainer Pat Duff said it was one of his best efforts.
“You can’t sit three deep against a horse like Buffering. He is one of the best horses we have ever seen,” Duff said.
“We had to ride Steel Zip a bit closer than usual to be any chance of beating him and then things went against us.
“I am not making excuses and the best we could have run was second. But it was an honour for the our horse to run so well against Buffering.”
Steel Zip picked up $90,000 prize money to take his career total to $875,000.
“I would love him to get to $1 million in prize money. He deserves to be talked about as a millionaire,” Duff said.
“I have had two horses earn a million dollars in Hard To Catch and Heart Of The Citi.”
“I’m not getting any younger and it would be nice to say I had three million dollar earners who probably cost a collective $50,000 in the sales ring.”
As the first part of his plan for Steel Zip to reach the millionaire’s club he will start the gelding in the Sunshine Coast Cup on January 26.
Saturday’s Gold Coast meeting was also a milestone for the Rex Lipp-trained Tinto.
Her win in the Magic Millions Trophy makes her Queensland’s third highest earning mare behind only Calaway Gal and Military Rose who rich two-year-old races.
Lipp will now set Tinto for a Sydney campaign with the Coolmore Classic and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on her program.