Dances On Stars was included in the 2015 Victory Stakes field that was released this morning, but trainer Gerald Ryan does not rate the chances of the Snitzel gelding in the Group 2 event at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Dances On Stars made his long awaited return to racing in the Listed Chief De Beers Handicap (1110m) at Doomben on April 11 and was never able to get into the race after being settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Paul Hammersley in the early stages.
Ryan originally planned to step Dances On Stars up to 1400 metres to defend his title in the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup (1400m), but the veteran trainer decided that the five-year-old needed another race start before he was stepped up in trip.
Dances On Stars won over 1100 metres as a two-year-old in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) in 2012 and he took out the Listed Carrington Stakes (1100m) over the same trip last year, but he told Sky Racing HQ that he could be outpaced by his opposition in the Victory Stakes this weekend.
“He ran up there a fortnight ago in an 1100 metre race and he hit the line good,” Ryan said.
“I was hoping that he would take enough benefit out of it to go to the Prime Minister’s Cup which he won last year, but from the way that he pulled up yesterday he wasn’t quite ready to go to 1400 with a big weight on his back.
“We will run around in the Victory Stakes and I don’t think he can win that, but we will find another race for him later in the Carnival.
“It is a very good race.”
Dances On Stars has been a regular visitor to Queensland for the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and he will be having his fourth straight start at the Hollindale Stakes meeting at the Gold Coast.
He made his first race appearance in Queensland when he finished second behind Sizzling in the 2012 edition of the Listed Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) and he finished a gallant third in the 2013 Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) before he broke through for his first win at the meeting in the Prime Minister’s Cup last year.
Dances On Stars will face stiff competition in the Victory Stakes after the likes of Temple Of Boom, River Lad, Speediness, Cape Kidnappers, Ball Of Muscle and Srikandi were included in the field for the $200,000 race.