She might have been 19th of the 36 runners in the ante post betting lists, but Keephill Abbie made a strong claim for a bid at the £10,000 first prize in the heats of the Gain Nutrition 3 Steps To Victory at Sheffield on Tuesday.

Chris Akers’ bitch, who was widely available at 25-1 ante post and 10-1 on the night produced a run more associated with a market leader to clock the fastest time of the year for the 480 metre course, 27.49.

Owned by Chris Jeffery and Mark Shepherd, it was the fourth win from nine races since arriving in the UK.

Akers said: “She had a fairly average Irish card and wasn’t a lot of money but she has always shown what a good trapper she is, particularly when she beat Roxholme Butt at Monmore (38.10 – 630m). She then picked up a gracilis strain in her last race at Sheffield but has won three of her four races back.

“I was just hoping to qualify last night. I don’t think one is necessarily her box. We originally seeded her middle and she kept being drawn on the outside. I am not too bothered where she is drawn if she keeps coming away like that.

“Now its fingers crossed for the 500 that we can get through. She has won over 750 yards (686m) at Clonmel and the short run to the bend in the 660 would suit her if she was to qualify.”

Click race results to watch video replays