02/05/2018 2:32PM

Marvel Hero seeks to end skid in Wong Nai Chung Handicap

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Hong Kong Jockey Club
Marvel Hero's most recent win came in the Happy Valley Vase in March 2017.

Marvel Hero has struggled in Hong Kong this year, going winless in nine starts. At least, the 6-year-old gelding has kept good company.

Marvel Hero was fourth in the Group 3 January Cup at Happy Valley Racecourse on Jan. 10 behind Eagle Way, a two-time group stakes winner. More recently, Marvel Hero was second to Dinozzo in a minor handicap at Happy Valley on Jan. 31. Dinozzo returned to win the Group 3 Centenary Vase Handicap at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Marvel Hero can further enhance the form of the Jan. 31 race when he starts as the 133-pound highweight in Wednesday’s $237,833 Wong Nai Chung Handicap at Happy Valley, the most lucrative of eight races on the program that begins at 6:15 a.m., Eastern.

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Trained by Caspar Fownes, Marvel Hero will be ridden by leading rider Joao Moreira, whose mounts always face increased attention. Marvel Hero will break from post 7 in a field of eight noticeably lacking in early speed. Marvel Hero tends to run from midpack.

Marvel Hero is winless in his last 11 starts, but did record three wins at Happy Valley in the 2016-17 Hong Kong season.

Prawn Baba, who will carry 125 pounds, is the only runner in the field with a last-race victory. Prawn Baba, who will be ridden by Sam Clipperton, won a minor handicap on the all-weather track at Sha Tin on Jan. 24 against lesser company.

Wednesday’s race will be Prawn Baba’s second career start on turf at Happy Valley. The 5-year-old gelding was second in a minor handicap at 1 3/8 miles at Happy Valley in December, 2016. Prawn Baba has raced only at Sha Tin since then.

There are two other runners in Wednesday’s field that were in the January Cup. Packing Dragon, who finished seventh, will carry 120 pounds, while Pikachu, who ran fifth, has been assigned 119 pounds.