Steel Zip has dispelled any thoughts of looming retirement as he starts his fifth winter carnival campaign in the Group Two QTC Cup.
The top sprinter had his first winter carnival start in 2011 when he won the Listed Queensland Day Stakes at Doomben and has been a regular in stakes races ever since.
Saturday will mark his fourth outing in a QTC Cup and trainer Pat Duff thinks he is ready to give his best performance yet in the race.
The rising nine-year-old has caught the eye of barrier trial watchers in three hit-outs at Deagon in the past two months with the last two resulting in impressive wins.
Duff said he had prepared Steel Zip for a first-up tilt at the QTC Cup because of a lack of suitable lead-up races.
“He has been going very well in his work on the beach and his attitude around the stables is far from him wanting to retire,” Duff said.
“I have mixed things up a bit with three trials and a couple of trips to Ipswich to work between races.”