Aztec State will be racing for more than the $82,500 winner's cheque when he steps up to 2000 metres for the first time at Caulfield this Saturday.

Ben Hayes still holds Queensland Derby aspirations with the son of Pierro, who will put his credentials on the line in the $150,000 Tobin Brothers Celebrating Lives 3YO Handicap.

"We've always had an opinion of him and it will be interesting because it's his first time at 2000, but he's a horse that I think will get better as he gets out in trip," Hayes said.

"He's developed now, he's matured and if he runs well here, we'll be thinking of the Queensland Derby with him, so he's on trial to see if we head in that direction."

The $1 million Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) will be run at Eagle Farm on June 1.

Aztec State will be lining up for the sixth start of his career and his third this preparation, having resumed with a fourth placing over 1400m at Sandown before a narrow second on the Heath track at Caulfield on April 17.

"First-up, he probably found the 1400 on the short side then he stepped to the mile and he was great, he just got beaten, so now he's third-up and rock-hard fit, so I think he'll run well and hopefully we're heading to Queensland."

Hayes, who trains Aztec State in partnership with brothers Will and JD, will pull the trigger on a gear change the Lindsay Park trainers have hand in mind for the gelding.

"We don't often do it, but we're stepping up to 2000 and putting the blinkers on, because he's just a horse that we need to help focus," Hayes said.

Aztec State will be ridden by in-form jockey Luke Currie with the pair having drawn barrier eight in the full field of 16.