Ironstein's form has prompted an upgrade in his ambitions this weekend with the gelding to take on a classy field in the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield in preference to Cranbourne Cup.
The seven-year-old was an eye-catching third in the JRA Cup won by Bianmick at Moonee Valley last Friday week, scooting along the rail late after being held up for a run.
Ironstein missed a start in the Melbourne Cup by just two spots in 2011, something trainer Gerald Ryan was happy about, believing he would be better equipped to deal with the race a year later.
As well as trying to cement a place in this year's Cup, Ironstein can also restore pride in the antipodean breed against the depth of the international pedigrees.
Visitors Gatewood, Ibicenco and Shahwardi have been entered for the Group Two Herbert Power (2400m) along with several domiciled former Europeans.
Also in the mix are Exceptionally, scratched from Saturday's Bart Cummings due to the firm track.
Ironstein is by Cambridge Stud's durable stallion Zabeel, already the sire of Melbourne Cup winners, Might And Power (1997) Jezabeel (1998) and Efficient (2007).
"The Herbert Power will be a tougher race than Cranbourne but the 2400 metres suits and he's going well enough to have a go," Ryan said.
"He needs to get up the order in the Cup."
Ryan said Ironstein was a typical slow-maturing Zabeel who was getting better as he got older.
At the other end of the scale in age and distance, his three-year-old stablemate Snitzerland can cement her position as the best sprinting filly around when she runs in the Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on the Caulfield program.
Runner-up to Pierro in the Golden Slipper earlier this year, Snitzerland is unbeaten in three starts this campaign, her most recent the Champagne Stakes at the Valley on the same night Ironstein raced.
"Her work's been good since the race," Ryan said.
"She's been good all the way through and I couldn't be happier with her."
Corey Brown retains the ride on Snitzerland while Brenton Avdulla will again partner Ironstein.