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Heathcote hopeful Guntantes can bounce back

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Rob Heathcote is willing to forgive Guntantes for his last start defeat and is looking for the gelding to bounce back at Doomben on Saturday.

Guntantes tackles a super strong field in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1350m) and will be ridden by heavyweight apprentice Nicholas Keal.

Keal has battled weight problems most of his career and will claim 3kgs reducing Guntantes weight to 59kgs.

Guntantes is coming off last start seventh to the Kelly Schweida-trained The Odyssey in the $300,000 QTIS Jewel at the Gold Coast on March 14.

“On face value he was a bit disappointing in The Jewel but he subsequently had a slight stone bruise a few days later,” Heathcote said.

“It’s fine now and I’m forgiving him for his last run.

“It’s a very hard race and any one of eight or nine runners are capable of winning.

“He’s got a big weight again with 62kgs that’s why I’ve gone for a full three kilo claim.”

Heathcote is unsure of Guntante’s future plans with the Brisbane winter carnival cancellation due to the coronavirus threat.

“I’m not sure what we’ll do with him after this. It all depends what happens with coronavirus,” he said.

“This is a very strong field and it’s typical of the three-year-old races we get in Brisbane.

“His wheels were spinning at the Gold Coast but I’m not blaming the track and it wasn’t his weight.”

Heathcote believes race favourite, the Steve Tregea-trained Command’n’Conquer is the main danger to Guntantes.

Command’n’Conquer is unbeaten in two starts, winning his maiden on his home track at Toowoomba by nearly three lengths before winning by a bigger margin at Doomben on March 18.

“It’s a good race full of young up and coming horses,” Heathcote said.

“Tregea’s horse looks the one to beat but it’s a big step up in class form him while Stampe is another promising horse who will go well.”

In latest TAB markets Command’n’Conquer is a $2.40 favourite with Guntantes on the second line of betting at $5.50.

Racing Queensland webnews   March 27