Hat Puntano to prove his point

Hat Puntano to prove his point


Bonginkosi Nkosi: The Cape Summer Of Champions feature race season is well under way and the Joey Ramsden-trained Hat Puntano, who was formerly under the care of Mike Azzie, will attempt to cause a massive upset when he lines up in Saturday’s Grade 2 Green Point Stakes for his new yard at Kenilworth.

We caught up with Ramsden’s assistant trainer Ricardo Sobotker to discuss the five-year-old colt’s chances, and considering Hat Puntano only has five rivals to beat, there’s a horse racing term that could ring true for the colt come race day – small fields make for big disappoints!

“Let’s hope that happens for us on Saturday,” said an upbeat Sobotker. “He is a lovely horse but I must admit we’ve only had him for about a month or so. As far as how we got him and the deal. I really have no idea,” he said.

A smashing son of Hat Trick, this five-year-old was imported to South Africa from Argentina in November 2016. He is a dual Grade 1 winner and won his debut outing by a mammoth 16 lengths!

Yes, he fluffed his lines in his first performance on South African soil, finishing a bad last, but keep in mind that was his run after a layoff of more than a year.

Hat Puntano made no mistakes in his follow-up under Grant van Niekerk, winning last year’s Peermont Emperors Charity Mile by 0.75 lengths – proving he wasn’t just all hype.

“He has had one good gallop. I love how he moves. This horse really has lovely action. So far so good, I can’t complain. Will he win? I really don’t know enough of him at the moment to be honest with you. We’ll see after the race on Saturday.

Hat Puntano is no stranger to Kenilworth. He was beaten 6.05 lengths by Legal Eagle in the Queens Plate this year.

“It’s a very, very tough field on Saturday,” added Sobotker and rightfully so. Ramsden’s charge will have to get the better of 14-10 favourite Legal Eagle, who is unbeaten over 1600m and 16-10 Rainbow Bridge who is undefeated in five appearances.

“He (Hat Puntano) did win the November Handicap (Charity Mile) so he clearly has the ability,” said the assistant. “I can say he has settled in very well with us. We hope for the best. Upsets can happen.

“He is enjoying life at the moment and although can be a bit naughty on the track is healthy.”

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