Karlos on track for Riccarton

Cambridge trainers Sheryl and Roger McGlade got twice the pleasure when Karlos gained an overdue win at Te Aroha today.

The win came in the race they sponsored, the Roger and Sheryl McGlade Racing Steeplechase, and Karlos booked himself a trip to Riccarton for the $70,000 Grand National Steeplechase on August 10.

Karlos had been off the winners’ list since taking the 2011 Dunstan Waikato Hurdles, though within the last 26 months he had gained five placings, the latest being a second to Sea King in that same Te Rapa race.

It was also back in 2011 that Karlos headed south for the Grand National meeting and finished second in the Koral Steeplechase on the first day, then third to Counter Punch in the Grand National Steeplechase a week later.
Last year he was being aimed at the Great Northern Steeplechase, the event in which he was second to Hypnotize in 2010, but suffered an injury within the last few weeks.

“He cracked a cannon-bone the Thursday before he was going to run in the Pakuranga Hunt Cup last year,” said Sheryl McGlade. “He had to be boxed for three months, but he’s bounced back.

“He’ll go to Riccarton now. The Grand National Steeples is his main aim and it will depend on what the handicapper gives him as to whether or not he runs in the Koral on the first day. We did have Paeroa up our sleeve, too, but that’s gone now. He would have to carry too much there.”

Karlos was well-ridden today by promising jumps jockey Aaron Kuru, who followed Sheryl McGlade’s riding instructions to the letter. He was told to save as much ground as he could and keep in touch with the leaders then make his move approaching the home turn.

“He rode him perfectly,” said McGlade. “He’s a very good young rider.”

Karlos scored by two lengths from Tallentire and Kuru was thrilled with the win. “I’d ridden him in his last two races (both hurdles for fifths) and I really want to win on him,” said Kuru. “I put a bit of pressure on myself today.”

Kuru has now ridden six jumps winners this season and is on target to lose his 2.5kg claim. “I’ll be happy when I’m down to 1.5kg,” he said. “I’m not worried so much about my claim in highweights. I’m more focused on riding the jumpers than the flat horses.”