Handle The Truth trainer Keith Dryden remains confident the horse is on track for next weekend's The Kosciuszko after a tough run on Saturday.
After two barrier trials last month, the four-year-old gelding made his return to racing in the 1200m Snitzel Sprint at Randwick.
After being checked down the straight, Handle The Truth finished well to place fifth and Dryden said he expects further improvement when they return to the track next weekend.
"I always said going in, if he runs in the top five and is within two lengths, I'd be happy with the run," Dryden said. "I was pretty happy with the way it all panned out. Unfortunately it didn't win but he appeared to pull up well.
"We're looking at at least 10 per cent improvement in him. It's not going to be easy to win the Kosciuszko, but that's the goal. There's five really top chances in the race and he's one of them."
Dryden will spend the next week fine-tuning Handle The Truth's preparation, before it is ridden by Nash Rawiller in the Kosciuszko.
"I set this plan out four months ago. Every step has fallen into place, we're hoping to hold it together for another two weeks.
"The Shellharbour syndicate is really happy and Nash was thrilled as well."
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