Aging sprinter Steel Zip can edge closer to the $1 million mark in prizemoney if he can win the Listed $100,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Mile (1600m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Steel Zip currently sits on $915,500 in earnings from eleven wins, ten seconds and ten thirds from seventy-three starts and if he can pick up the $64,000 winning cheque on Saturday, it will bring his bank balance up to $979,500.
The eight year old has been racing consistently but is yet to win from three race starts this current campaign and is coming off a last start third to Smart Volatility in the Listed $160,000 Crowe Horwath Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on July 13.
Trainer Pat Duff said that with a little bit more luck in the Ramornie Handicap Steel Zip could have visited the winner’s stall for the twelfth time after only being beaten a half a length.
“He was a shade unlucky not to win the Ramornie,” Duff told Racing Queensland News.
“He was only beaten a nose and a long neck. Had he got the run he was going for earlier he would have just scraped home.”
Brad Stewart has the ride again on Steel Zip who has drawn barrier ten in the twelve horse field and will have to carry the top weight of 59kg, 3.5kg more than he carried in the Ramornie Handicap.
The grey sprinter is also stepping up to the 1600m for the first time this preparation.
Steel Zip has only won once from eight attempts at the ‘mile’, but Duff is more concerned about the steep rise in weight.
“He pulled up well after the Ramornie and he’s going to 1600 metres this time but that’s how the program fell for him,” Duff said.
“He can’t read the paper and I haven’t told him he’s going to 1600 metres this time.
“My biggest worry is he goes up 3.5 kilograms but he’s probably earned it.”
“He hasn’t missed a cheque in three runs this time in and if he gets a nice run through the race he’ll be right in the frame again.”
Duff has picked out the Group 3 $150,000 Cameron Handicap (1350m) on the Beaumont track at Newcastle on September 16 if Steel Zip pulls up okay after the Tattersall’s Mile.
“Even if he wins this he’ll still fall short of $1 million in prizemoney, so I’m thinking of giving him a short break then taking him down to Newcastle for the Cameron Handicap,” Duff said.