Dean Nazzari believes a month of intense dressage work could provide Delray Beach with a crucial edge in the Diggers & Dealers Sprint (1200m) on Sunday.
The former New South Wales galloper resumes for Nazzari after showing positive signs at his maiden Kalgoorlie campaign earlier in April and May.
The son of Exceed And Excel created a strong impression with one win and two runner-up finishes from his first three starts before tackling Perth races.
He ran a top third to Wednesday’s Bolton Sprint winner Celebrity Miss before being tipped out after finishing near last behind Songburg when stretched out to 1400 for the first time.
Despite an encouraging start to his Western Australian racing career, Nazzari believes Delray Beach could have performed better.
“I don’t think he handled our way of racing and was still trying to adapt throughout,” said Nazzari.
“He was never on the right leg or balanced and kept running off the track.
“I’m certain it cost him and he could have finished closer in some of his races.
“I’m pretty confident the dressage work has assisted and he has come back slightly better.
“If he can find the rail it will only increase his chances.”
Drawn in gate two for Kevin Bohorun, Delray Beach will be out to maintain his imposing fresh record; he has never missed a placing in four first up attempts.
“I won’t declare him but I think he will go close to winning,” said Nazzari.
“He won’t be at his peak and whatever he does he will be improving.
“I rate him highly and I’m prepared to take my time.
“He has only had one bad race and that can happen.
“I can’t really explain that run because his work leading in was the best ever.
“He is going to make a good horse and will win a Saturday race in Perth.”
Ashley Graces’ Sass’n’ping, who resumes after a short freshen-up, will be hard to beat if he repeats his work from last campaign.
The Due Sasso gelding won three of his previous four races including a strong front-running victory over 1400m on June 22.
Peter Fernie, who is locked in a three-way tie with Helen Harding and Pat Bermingham Jnr in the trainer’s premiership, will pin his faith with Hussars, Bet On Faith and Walk By My Side.
Hussars displayed blistering Esperance form; claiming four straight wins, before going for a spell in March.