Veteran Ironstein will use Saturday's Tattersall's Cup at Randwick as a stepping stone to regaining his title in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes during the Melbourne Cup carnival.
The eight-year-old won the Group Three Queen Elizabeth (2600m) two years ago but was soundly beaten in 2012 when second to Puissance De Lune.
In 2011, Ironstein ran fourth in the Group One Metropolitan (2400m) and fifth in the Tattersall's Cup (2400m) before winning the Queen Elizabeth after narrowly missing a Melbourne Cup berth.
Ironstein came up less than a length short of being a Group One winner when fourth again in this year's Metropolitan.
"He's run fourth again in the Metrop so we will go to the Tattersall's Cup and on to the Queen Elizabeth like we did two years ago," Ryan said.
"It looks like the right thing to do."
Ryan said Ironstein had trained on well since the Metropolitan last Saturday week.
"He does his work and gets three feeds a day and that makes him happy," he said.
"He loves the stable life and being a racehorse.
"He is just Ironstein. He's a happy horse."
Six of the 12 Tattersall's Cup entries still hold nominations for the Melbourne Cup but are unlikely to make the field.
The Queen Elizabeth carries a $100,000 bonus for horses which miss out on a start in the big race.
In 2012, Ironstein ran Group Three thirds in the JRA Cup and the Moonee Valley Cup but again missed the Melbourne Cup field.
He was tried over 3200 metres in the Sandown Cup but struggled over the distance at the end of a long campaign.
"That race won't be a target," Ryan said.
"The Sandown Classic over 2400 metres would be a consideration."
Placegetters from the past two Australian Derbys - the John O'Shea-trained Kingdoms and Polish Knight from the Hawkes team - are among the Tattersall's Cup entries.
Ryan's other feature race runner at Randwick will be Dothraki who is one of 15 entries for the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) for three-year-olds.
Dothraki showed a glimpse of the form that earned him two stakes placings as a juvenile when he finished third on the Kensington track a week ago.