Dothraki has had to settle for second behind a potential superstar at his past two starts and trainer Gerald Ryan fears it may happen again at his next.
The four-year-old chased Our Boy Malachi home in the Starlight Stakes and the Razor Sharp, the first two legs of Sydney’s summer sprint series.
Prolific winner Our Boy Malachi is having a break with the Hawkes stable eyeing off the Stradbroke Handicap as a Group One option.
Although Our Boy Malachi misses Saturday’s Canterbury Stakes (1200m), Ryan has much respect for another star on the rise, Ball Of Muscle.
“Dothraki has to give another promising horse four kilos,” Ryan said.
“He’s come through his last two starts in great order. I can’t fault him but he’s going to have his work cut out again.”
Dothraki, who conceded 3.5kg to Our Boy Malachi in the Starlight and 1kg in the Razor Sharp, has 58kg at Canterbury while the Joe Pride-trained Ball Of Muscle is on the 54kg limit.
Ball Of Muscle has a family connection to live up to with his siblings and stablemates Terravista and Tiger Tees both Group One winners.
Ball Of Muscle has won six of his eight starts in restricted company and is stepping up to stakes class on Saturday.
Plans for Dothraki after the Canterbury Classic remain fluid with Ryan and the gelding’s owners to decide whether he goes to the Magic Millions Sprint or is freshened up for the Oakleigh Plate.
Ryan does however, have a firm target for Peace Force who is aiming for a winning hat-trick in the 1550m benchmark 80 on the Canterbury program.
“She runs on Saturday and then goes to the Belle Of The Turf at Gosford,” Ryan said.
“I haven’t done a lot with her since her last win. She is a very easy horse to train and has a pretty relaxed lifestyle.
“She is nice and fresh and very fit.”
The Group Three Belle Of The Turf is one of three features at Gosford on January 9 with the Gosford Cup and Takeover Target Stakes the other two.