Gerald Ryan concedes youngster Dances On Stars faces a daunting task turning the tables on Sizzling in the Group Two Champagne Classic at Doomben.
Sizzling left Dances On Stars in his wake when he downed the Sydney visitor by more than four lengths in the Listed Ken Russell Memorial Classic at the Gold Coast on May 5.
The track was a heavy eight that day and Ryan has got his wish for a much drier surface on Saturday.
Sizzling was also drawn inside Dances On Stars at the latter’s Queensland debut but that has been reversed for their Champagne Classic (1200m) meeting with Sizzling in gate seven and Dances On Stars in two.
“We’ve got a much better alley this time and we’re drawn inside Sizzling which is a plus, but it’s set weights again and I doubt the alley is enough for us to stop Sizzling,” Ryan said.
“Sizzling’s form is terrific and the form all around him is very good.
“I saw him on Magic Millions day at the Gold Coast and he’s heaps stronger now and looks a very impressive type.
“Sizzling missed the start in the Ken Russell but that’s the way he races. He’s a bit slow out of the gates and it takes him a stride or two to find his rhythm.
“The only thing that would worry Sizzling is if he gets back in a slowly run race but that won’t happen in this race.”
Ryan hopes to press on to the Group Two Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and possibly the Group One T.J. Smith (1600m) at Eagle Farm next month if Dances On Stars acquits himself well again.
The winner of last month’s Group Three Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick, Dances On Stars compares favourably to last year’s Ken Russell Memorial winner and stablemate Hot Snitzel according to Ryan.
“Dances On Stars is probably a bit more tractable than Hot Snitzel,” Ryan said.
“He will go on to the Sires’ Produce Stakes but I’ll see how he handles 1400 metres before I decide on stepping up over further in the T.J. Smith.”
Hot Snitzel finished third to Darley’s Free Wheeling in last year’s Champagne Classic before claiming the Sires’ Produce Stakes and running second to Benfica in the T.J. Smith.