Douglas Whyte is optimistic a remedial course in barrier manners will spark a performance transformation in Rainbow Light when the Irish import tackles the first section of Class 4 Po Loi Handicap (1650m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday (10 March) night.
Beaten 31 and a half lengths when last behind Pakistan Friend at Sha Tin in January after rearing at the start and missing the jump badly, Rainbow Light was stood down from racing pending a satisfactory barrier trial.
The four-year-old was cleared to resume after running second in a Conghua trial over 1200m on 25 February and Whyte is hopeful the grey can deliver a significantly improved effort at the city circuit.
“He’s had a few gate issues – he’s the type of horse who’s his own worst enemy,” the former champion jockey said. “He stands ok, but he can get it (starting) wrong and he can get left, as we saw last time.
“I’ve done a lot of barrier work with him in Conghua – he’s had a trial and it was there for everyone to see that his barrier manners were good.
“We all know that horses do tend to act differently when they go to the races, so I’m just hoping he holds it together, he hasn’t shown me any signs of doing that again.
“I have opted to take him to the Valley just to take him away from Sha Tin just to get him to think differently and I’m hoping all the thought going into this is going to pay off.”