Heathcote down to one Weetwood runner

Trainer Robert Heathcote. Photo courtesy Ross Stevenson.

Trainer Robert Heathcote. Photo courtesy Ross Stevenson.

Trainer Robert Heathcote will pin his Weetwood Handicap hopes on the injury-prone Pinch River after starting out with three contenders.

Heathcote had hoped to have Pinch River, Punta Norte and Lauterbrunnen in Saturday's the $150,000 Listed Weetwood (1200m) at Toowoomba.

But Punta Norte is third emergency and unlikely to get a run while Heathcote did not accept with Lauterbrunnen.

"I had Lauterbrunnen set to give the Weetwood a real shake but he was injured on Wednesday morning and I couldn't accept with him," Heathcote said.

"It looks like he will need a long spell but I have some hope he might be back for the late winter."

Instead Heathcote will rely on Pinch River who has been a brilliant winner at both his runs back from a spell.

"Pinch River ran in the Weetwood last year when he wasn't quite right. He has a lot of pace and I think Toowoomba will suit him," Heathcote said.

"But with him you are always worried about his feet. They have dogged him for his entire career. But touch wood this campaign we have been able to keep him going."

"He worked well on Tuesday morning and he is set to run a mighty race on Saturday. But as I say with him it is always 50-50."

Pinch River has been ridden by Ron Stewart to his past two wins and he will retain the ride at Toowoomba.

"Ron seems to suit him as he can get Pinch River out and running early," Heathcote said.

By Mark Oberhardt

BRISBANE, April 6 AAP