Dancer can do a jig for Kinane

Robin Parke

TOPWEIGHT Rain Dancer (Nap) can put Irish champion jockey Mick Kinane back on the winning trail at Happy Valley tonight.

The seven-year-old gelding is a long-time inmate of the David Oughton stable and contests this Class Four, 1,600-metre equitrack event as a Class Three horse eligible to compete in the lower grade.

That is significant as the horse has generally been regarded as a solid Class Four galloper who finds it a little tough at a higher level although it must be emphasised that he has run some decent races in Class Three.

He will carry 140lb, an obvious steadier, but the son of Epsom Derby winner Henbit has lumped 139lb in the past and run second.

Significantly, he has been working particularly well since finishing third at his last start for visiting Irish apprentice, Mickey Fenton. That was back on January 20 and he ran on well for third to Golden Emperor, a winner since, on the grass.

Rain Dancer's equitrack form has always been sound and he gets a solid chance to break through tonight and end a brief, winless run for Kinane.

Brent Thomson remains with Jungle Deer who won, course and distance, early this season and has been freshened up after a long break for a crack at this event.

Although his wins have been remarkably few, Jungle Deer still looks capable of doing something here and looks a definite quinella chance.

Bottomweight Scan Lord's last two runs can be forgotten as they were on turf and he is a different animal on equitrack.

He has had a little break since late January and has been prepared for a suitable race which this modest seven-runner contest undoubtedly is.

On his excellent equitrack form, Scan Lord must he conceded a chance - particularly at the weights as he is in receipt of 14 lbs from the topweight.

The engagement of Tony Cruz for the Eddie Lo-trained Solar Century ensures considerable support for that horse following a strong-finishing third down the straight 1,000 metres last time. The problem here is lack of equitrack form but he may not be the worst.

The main chance for Cruz tonight as he seeks to confirm his strong lead in the championship is Imperial Braid (next best) in the fifth event.

Imperial Braid was on the wrong side of the handicapper for a long time but has finally had some much needed relief from that quarter. He is permitted to compete in a Class Five short sprint tonight and definitely looks the answer in this eight-runner event.

Imperial Braid has been racing in fair form this season and in this low company should prevail. He has struck equitrack twice and distinguished himself on both occasions in much tougher company than this.

There was merit to his run two starts back at the Valley when finishing third over the minimum turf trip to Graceful Win, good form for a modest race like this.