Steel Confirms NZ Derby Prospects

27 Dec 2007

Zabeel three-year-old gelding Steel stamped himself as a Mercedes NZ Derby contender with a stylish win in the $10,000 Radio Network Mile (1600m) at Ellerslie racecourse on Saturday December 29.

Steel (Zabeel x Tennessee Midnight) was ridden by Lisa Cropp and proved too superior to his rivals.

Co-trainer Graeme Rogerson said the $700,000 Mercedes NZ Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie in March will be the major target this season for Steel.

"He's a Derby type - a typical big and strong Zabeel who will come into his own when he gets up over more ground," Rogerson said.

"He hadn't had much luck in his first two starts but still managed a couple of third placings," Rogerson said.

Steel's is owned by Rogerson in partnership with multi-millionaire Gerry Harvey and Sir Russell Pettigrew.

Zabeel has already sired the winner of the New Zealand Derby on three occasions with Zonda, St Reims and Hades.