Lane has hopes for Dashing finale

Robin Parke

TRAINER Geoff Lane can wrap up today's meeting with a win when topweight Dashing tackles the final event.

Dashing impressed when making all for Lester Piggott recently and Lane has taken an excellent chance in sending the progressive galloper to Happy Valley.

The New Zealand import was very lightly raced in New Zealand and was an astute buy as he quickly showed. He ran a mighty race when apprentice-ridden at his first start and was only just touched off.

Dashing has a lot of pace but is equally blessed with determination which makes him an ideal front-running type.

Although they came at him late last time, Piggott fended off the challenges and it is worth remembering that at his debut run he was only nailed very close home - and it was almost certainly due to lack of condition rather than courage that brought him undone.

Declan Murphy, stable rider for Lane, takes over and from the excellent barrier draw (3) should have little trouble getting smartly out and on to the rail.

Trainer Lawrie Fownes has taken a voluntary promotion with Aashiq and his biggest hope over the weekend was for more of the rain that fell on both tracks late last week.

Aashiq is a useful type and is even better in the wet. But he must still be accorded maximum respect whatever the state of the track as he does have very real ability.

The David Oughton-trained Pearl King is blinkered for the first time but seemed to run rather flat for John Marshall at his last outing at Sha Tin and would need to have come on considerably from that to be a real quinella chance here.

The blinkers could help but he could not be a confident choice for a minor place.

Helene Delight does not seem to relish Happy Valley and Golden Rule would not like it with too much rain around.

Former top-liner Star Mark is getting longer in the tooth but has done well at Happy Valley in the past - although his appearances at the city track have been minimal. He ran a fair race last time and is not completely out of the reckoning.