Stephen Theodore is looking for Don't Get Excited to bounce back from his unplaced Christmas Stakes run in the Listed Kensington Stakes at Flemington.
Don't Get Excited started favourite in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day but was caught wide throughout and over-raced before failing to make any impression in the straight to finish ninth.
Theodore has elected to drop Don't Get Excited back in distance and the gelding will race down the straight at Flemington for the first time in Saturday's Kensington Stakes (1000m).
"Without dwelling on it, he just didn't get a lot of luck (in the Christmas Stakes) and the race didn't pan out as we expected," Theodore said.
The Cranbourne trainer said he was "very hopeful" the gelding could bounce back at Flemington having won well first-up at Caulfield last month before his Christmas Stakes failure.
"In his last run by not getting any cover and wanting to charge up the hill, it probably taught him the wrong racing pattern and I didn't want that to happen again," Theodore said.
"Dropping back to 1000 metres, hopefully he'll get run off his feet early and get some cover and then see daylight at the right time.
"If he does that he's got a good turn of foot."
Don't Get Excited is on the second line of betting for the Kensington Stakes at $5 behind in-form sprinter Kaiser Sun at $3.20.
Kaiser Sun has won his past two starts over 1000m at Flemington and faces his first stakes test on Saturday.
The Anthony Freedman-trained First Command has topweight of 60kg in the field of 11 and will be aiming for his third Kensington Stakes win in a row.
Don't Get Excited could head to Tasmania for a stakes race assignment after Saturday while stablemate Road Trippin', who lines up in Saturday's Craftsman Handicap (1720m) at Flemington, is also in line for a Tasmanian campaign next month with Theodore pinpointing the weight-for-age Thomas Lyons Stakes (1400m) and George Adams Stakes (1600m) as targets for Road Trippin'.
Three-year-old filly Kiss Me Ketut is headed for the Tasmanian Oaks.