High quality mare Prompt Response is in the mix...
Pat Duff’s veteran sprinter Steel Zip is down to contest his fifth Eye Liner Stakes in 2017 nominated for a resuming run in the Ipswich Cup Day feature on the weekend.
A rising 10-year-old, the Canadian Silver grey is one of a bumper 30 early entries taken for this year’s $175,000 Listed City Of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m).
From his four previous runs in the race, the veteran’s best result was a third behind Ninth Legion last Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
Like this season, Steel Zip resumed in the Eye Liner Stakes field with his Deagon-based trainer Duff opting not to test the ageing galloper against the top tier horses in Brisbane earlier during the season.
A winner of 11 of his 81 career starts to date amassing $944,500 in prize money, Steel Zip was last seen running under two lengths back sixth to Siegfried at Doomben on April 15 as a $26 outsider.
It has been a long time between drinks with the galloper not having won under race conditions since the Listed Keith Noud (1200m) in November of 2015.
He has a solid first-up record however with a win and six other minor placings from nine resuming runs and Duff is hoping for a big run on Saturday as Steel Zip kicks off his final winter carnival.
“I will have a good look at who is also in the field. He worked very strongly on Saturday morning and he is ready to race,” Duff told AAP.
Looking further ahead, Duff named the $160,000 Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on July 12 as a likely second-up option, a race Steel Zip also finished third in when a half-length off the winner Smart Volatility in 2016.
“I think a race like the Ramornie at Grafton next month would suit him as well,” he said.
“He is like me – not getting any younger – and you are always waiting for him to tell you he has had enough.
“But he is fit and seems to be still loving the stable life, so why retire him just yet.”
Duff remains optimistic that Steel Zip can become his third million dollar earner joining Hard To Catch and Heart Of The Citi, a feat he can achieve on Saturday with an Eye Liner Stakes win.
“This is will almost certainly be his last winter carnival and I would love him to win another stakes race,” Duff said.
To back Steel Zip over the winter at the right racing odds online make sure you head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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