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Pat Duff pays Brooker a compliment

Leading Brisbane apprentice Tiffani Brooker has been paid a big compliment by trainer Pat Duff who has booked her for veteran Steel Zip in the Group Three W J Healy Stakes.

Brooker, who has a commanding lead in the Brisbane’s apprentices’ premiership, can’t use her claim in Saturday’s race but Duff had no hesitation booking her to ride.

The veteran trainer has helped nurture the careers of many star jockeys including Mick Dittman, Mike Pelling and Jim Byrne.

Brooker has been in great form this winter, winning two stakes races on Dreams Aplenty (Gunsynd Classic) and Monsieur Gustave (Eye Liner Stakes).

“I think Tiffani is riding as good as any jockey in Australia at the moment, male or female,” Duff said.

“She is using her head in her rides and she is very strong at the finish.

“I haven’t really had a horse for her to ride in a big race before but I had always planned to use her at some stage.”

Brooker will also have her first Group One ride at Saturday’s meeeting aboard the Stuart Kendrick-trained Rare Occurrence in the Tattersall’s Tiara.

Duff had originally planned to run Steel Zip in the Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich last Saturday.

“I didn’t accept with him when the track was going to be rain-affected. He is a cunning old bloke and these days he doesn’t stretch out on the shifty ground,” Duff said.

“He gets into the Healy with a nice weight (54.5kg) and he does go well around Doomben. I know he is a big price but don’t rule him out.”

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