ONE OF the unluckiest losers seen in Hong Kong so far this season has to be WE ARE HERO who seeks compensation in the Pok Oi Cup Handicap (8.05am) over the straight five furlongs.
The Australian-bred galloper was last seen over the course and distance on New Year’s Day, when running into all sorts of trouble and never seeing daylight in the final furlong.
There is little doubt he would have won with a clear passage and he can be considered a winner without a penalty. Even the handicapper has taken notice, putting him up two pounds, despite only finishing fourth.
With Hugh Bowman back in the saddle, having won on the five-year-old in convincing fashion back in November, and trainer Manfred Man in top form at present (he has sent out four winners in the last fortnight), his chance is bright, although there are one or two dangers to consider.
The Frankie Lor-trained newcomer Victory Moments, with Zac Purton aboard, has won two of his three trials coming into this contest and looks useful. He will strip rock-hard fit for his debut.
Top-weight Equaletta Blitz is another with good credentials, having bounced back to form when placed behind Ping Hai Galaxy in better company last month, and has 10lb claimer Angus Chung aboard to offset his welter burden.
Manfred Man’s stable can strike again later on in the card, when expectations will be high about DREAM PURSUER in the Tai Tong Handicap (9.10am) over six furlongs.
This former dual-winner in Australia suffered a health issue shortly after arriving in Hong Kong and didn’t start serious track-work until October.
His lead-up trials were encouraging, and his debut run, when running out of steam in the closing stages last month, should now have left him spot-on for this.
With Purton retaining the ride, he could prove much better than his present handicap mark.
We Are Hero 8.05am Sha Tin
Dream Pursuer 9.10am Sha Tin