Karlos on Grand National trail

Cambridge jumper Karlos arrived in the South Island today ready to improve his Grand National Steeplechase record.

Karlos, who turns 10 on Thursday, has only made one other trip to the South Island and that was two years ago when he went to Riccarton in pursuit of Grand National Steeplechase glory. He finished second on the first day in the Koral Steeplechase, then fought on for third behind Count Punch in the Grand National Steeplechase.

Co-trainer Roger McGlade believes Karlos will be much harder to beat this time. “I think he’s a little bit better than he was when he went down two years ago,” he said. “He’s a bit more settled and has grown up.”

Karlos will start on Saturday in the $30,000 NZI Koral Steeplechase at Riccarton with promising young Cambridge jumps jockey Aaron Kuru in the saddle.

“He’ll improve a bit with the run on Saturday, but he should still go a good race,” said McGlade. “He’s had a couple of runalongs since he last raced and he’s been up the hill (at Ann Browne’s property) a few times. He’s very well.”

Karlos had been off the winner’s list for just over two years when he won the race sponsored by his trainers, the Roger and Sheryl McGlade Racing Steeplechase, at Te Aroha earlier this month. His latest win before the Te Aroha triumph had been in the Dunstan Waikato Hurdles at Te Rapa in May 2011.

Between those wins Karlos had picked up a handful of placings, not only the Koral and Grand National Steeplechase, but also seconds in the 2011 Hawke’s Bay Hurdles and this year’s Dunstan Waikato Hurdles.

Karlos has gone south in the care of Sheryl McGlade and will be based at the Balcairn property of Karen and John Parsons.