Not all horses thrive on the same workloads and for Smashing Eagle, the less he does on the training track the better he performs on race day.

That has been co-trainer Gerald Ryan's biggest lesson since the horse joined his yard earlier this year and not only has it resulted in five top-three finishes at Smashing Eagle's past six starts, it has also given his campaign longevity.

The five-year-old will line up for the ninth time this preparation in Saturday's Evergreen Turf Australia Handicap (1200m) at Kembla Grange and Ryan says he is going as well as ever.

"He has held his form really well, except for one hiccup at Randwick," Ryan said.

"He's one I've worked out you don't gallop him. He only does a bit of pace work then brushes home steady, and he seems to be racing well and thriving on that way of training.

"He has done pace work three times since he raced three weeks ago. He doesn't swim, he just trots and canters and you keep him happy."

A backmarker, Smashing Eagle is reliant on tempo and Ryan isn't sure he will get that on Saturday.

But the race presents an ideal opportunity to test the horse over 1200m, a journey he hasn't been exposed to since joining the Ryan and Sterling Alexiou team.

If he can stretch the extra 100m, he will put himself in the frame for a start in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) at Randwick in two weeks.

"He is getting to 1200 metres for the first time for us and he gives the indication he might be an 1100-metre horse off a fast pace," Ryan said.

"This is a bit of an experiment to see how he goes.

"He shows enough ability to win a stakes race, he can reel off sectionals as good as any stakes horse."

Stablemate Deficit is also a backmarker and will go around in the Traffic Logistics Handicap (1600m) as a stepping stone towards the Magic Millions Trophy (2200m) at the Gold Coast in January.

"He's being aimed towards the staying race at the Magic Millions. He ran in it last year and should have run third," Ryan said.

"He is only a little fellow, he always has been, so the key to him is he's down in the weights.

"He has come back well, he's working well and looks good."

Jay Ford will partner Deficit while Brett Prebble has the ride on Smashing Eagle.