The Gwenda Markwell trained Angel of Truth remains on track for a Caulfield Cup run despite a disappointing Hill Stakes showing on Saturday.
Contesting his third race of the spring, the four-year-old sat on the outside for much of the run before fading to last when the pace picked up down the straight.
While disappointed with the showing, Angel of Truth owner Ross Williams said the plan remains to travel to Melbourne for next Saturday's Caulfield Cup.
"There's a couple of question marks with Angel of Truth moving forward," Williams said. "We're still aiming it at the Caulfield Cup.
"It wasn't a good run. We wanted him to go to the front, but the jockey didn't take him to the front and I don't think that suited the horse, he's a front runner.
"If he's ridden well and allowed to do his thing, he's still a good chance at the Caulfield Cup."
Markwell was impressed with the way Angel of Truth ran during track work on Tuesday and he was listed in the second round of declarations for the Caulfield Cup.
Also included in the 45-strong field are the Chris Waller trained Kings Will Dream and Verry Elleegant.
After racing twice over 1600 metres earlier in the campaign, Saturday was Angel of Truth's first step up to 2000m this spring.
Williams pointed to the path followed by the horse prior to April's ATC Derby win as a sign Angle of Truth will continue to improve.
The autumn saw the gelding struggle in his first race over 1900m before he claimed back-to-back victories in the 2000m Tulloch Stakes and 2400m Derby.
"The horse seems fit enough," Williams said. "He needed that run though. If you look at his last preparation, he needed that run before the Tulloch Stakes.
"It was the same in this race, I don't think he was topped up for that. The run would've helped and he'll be better off over 2400m."
Angel of Truth's disappointing run came on a tough day for the Williams/Markwell partnership, with Hawkesbury Cup winner Archedemus running last in the Epsom Handicap.
Williams conceded the six-year-old was not quite up to standard in the Epsom and said Markwell will now focus on preparing Archedemus for a tilt at The Gong on home turf next month.
"Archedemus, we're aiming for The Gong now. The preparation for the Epsom didn't suit him, we'll ease up on him and aim for The Gong.
"It was a high quality race on Saturday and I don't think he had the right preparation. He's still carrying his coat, the extra time before The Gong will help him."
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