Punta Norte gets his chance to show worth at Doomben

ROBERT Heathcote knows Punta Norte has the physical ability to be a stakes winner, but the trainer admits he’s not so sure about the four-year-old’s mental state.

Punta Norte, who has mixed some brilliant performances with some equally awful runs, gets his black-type chance in Saturday’s Listed Tattersall’s Members Cup (1600m) at Doomben.

“He was very good first-up and then he was too fresh and wanted to over-race second-up,” Heathcote said.

“On pure ability and his work on Tuesday morning he could win on Saturday. But he is a head case and who knows?

“For all that, one day the penny will drop and you will see a very good horse.”

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Punta Norte has won five of his 17 starts but there is little doubt if his racing manners were better, he would have a greater winning record.

He was a good third first-up over 1110m at Doomben five weeks ago and then at his last start was beaten two lengths when midfield behind Mischievous Devil over 1350m at Doomben on February 13.

Right Or Wrong is the TAB’s $1.60 favourite for the Members Cup with Punt Norte on the third line of TAB betting on Friday at $6.50 behind the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Snippets Land at $6.

Heathcote will also have Bewhatyouwannabe ($11) in the Member’s Cup.

“He tries and hasn’t had much luck at all. He is nicely drawn in three this time,” Heathcote said.

The trainer is also looking forward to the debut of promising youngster Capo Di Tutti in the Winning Edge Presentation 2YO (1050m).

Capo Di Tutti was an eye-catching 4-1/2 length winner of a Deagon barrier trial on February 16, running a slick 45.41 seconds for 850m.

By Written Tycoon out of Queenie, the gelding is a brother to the now Hong Kong-based Trump who was trained by Heathcote to win the 2012 Group Three Gunsynd Classic.

“Trump was Written Tycoon’s first black-type winner and, like Trump, I think Capo Di Tutti will need a bit more ground.

“But he trialled well and he is promising,” Heathcote said.

Charges laid after cobalt investigation

Training partners Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott have been charged over cobalt irregularities in three of their horses, including a place-getter in last year’s NZ Derby.

The pair, who operate Wexford Stables at Matamata, have been charged with three breaches of the rules following an investigation by the NZ Racing Integrity Unit.

Three horses were found to have cobalt in their systems above the allowable threshold after races early last year.

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Wexford Stables claimed their horses had been exposed to heavily cobalt-dosed water troughs the horses shared with dairy cattle but the RIU says the readings came about by the oral feeding of cobalt in high concentrations.

It has applied to have Sound Proposition disqualified from its third placing at the NZ Derby last year, and have the first placings of Quintastics at Matamata on March 11 and Suffire at Tauranga on February 5 also scrubbed out.

According to the RIU, Quintastics was more than three times over the limit, while Sound Proposition was more than twice the allowable threshold of 200mcg per litre of urine.

The charges will be heard by the Judicial Control Authority.

The trainers could face up five years suspension or disqualification and up to a $25,000 fine.

A former champion NZ jockey, O’Sullivan was last week inducted into the NZ Sport Hall Of Fame.

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