Graeme Evans is optimistic Backhouse Street can improve and bounce back in the $35,000 XXXX Gold-Mount Barker Cup (2000m) on Sunday.
Evans believes he can pinpoint why the seven-year-old was a dismal flop in last month’s Esperance Cup (2020m) when he ran 10th.
The Bunbury trainer had high hopes on the back of Backhouse Street’s excellent lead in form but admitted he felt flat by the performance.
Evans is backing his hunch and says a disrupted preparation and suspicion of a previous injury contributed to the gelding’s defeat.
“I travelled down a week before the Esperance Cup so he could acclimatise and have a hit out on the track,” said Evans.
“But he never settled at all and was off his feed for most of the week.
“He also missed a vital gallop because the track was closed.
“I’m not sure if he was feeling the effects of a hoof abscess he developed about six weeks ago.
“He raced without the bar plates but I have put them back on for Sunday as a precaution.
“But he hasn’t missed a beat since the run and I’m hopeful he can improve.
“He hasn’t left an oat and his work on Tuesday was as good as it has been.”
Giving Evans added confidence has been Backhouse Street’s performances in the Great Southern this season.
The son of Ihtiram has three wins and two second placings from his five appearances at Albany and Mount Barker.
He was on a winning hat trick before his downfall in Esperance. Shaun McGruddy reclaims the ride and starts from gate 8.
Adam Durrant, fresh from his Bunbury Cup success with Tick Tick Bloom, will play a major hand with 59.5kg top weight, Marden and Generis Heart.
Look for Marden to improve and relish a step-up in journey after finishing ahead of one runner when a first-up fifth to Carry The Nation (1500m) at Ascot.
The Danehill Dancer seven-year-old , searching for his first win since crossing from Melbourne last year, has drawn gate two for experienced hoop Peter Hall.
Generis Heart, purchased from Queensland, drops 4 1/2 kg on his previous win at Pinjarra when he defeated Achmed (2000m) by a long-neck.
In a Mount Barker Cup field of 12 runners, the Show A Heart five-year-old, who will carry 54.5kg for Peter Knuckey, jumps from barrier five.