Partnership back in action

Cambridge jumps jockey Lance MacFarlane will be reunited with local jumper Karlos at Te Rapa on Saturday.

MacFarlane hasn’t ridden Karlos since winning the Dunstan Waikato Hurdles 12 months ago and is naturally pleased to be back on the son of Krona.

“Richard Cully was riding work for us last year so he got the ride, but Lance is back now,” said co-trainer Sheryl McGlade. “He’s got a good record on Karlos.”

MacFarlane has had four rides on Karlos for two wins and two placings. His first ride on the horse was a 30-length victory in a maiden steeplechase at Ellerslie in August 2010. He then finished second on him behind Hypnotize in the Great Northern Steeplechase and third in a restricted open hurdles at Te Rapa — the same race he is contesting this weekend.

Karlos is one of just seven acceptors for the Minibus Express Hurdles and McGlade believes he is at the same level of fitness as he was going into last year’s race.

“The main concern is the track. I just hope they’re irrigating it,” she said. “I’ve been in two minds about running him. The last thing I want to see is him jarring up at the start of the (jumps) season.”

Karlos has been off the scene since finishing sixth to Ima Heroine in last year’s Great Northern Steeplechase. That was his sixth run since winning the Dunstan Waikato Hurdles and his form between times a included a second in the Hawke’s Bay Hurdles,  a second in the Koral Steeplechase at Riccarton and a third behind Counter Punch in the Grand National Steeplechase.

Though he hasn’t raced for eight months, Karlos has pleased McGlade in his buildup to the first-up run on Saturday. “He hasn’t had a trial, but he’s been up Brownes’ hill quite a few times and he’s a lightly framed horse who doesn’t take much to get him fit,” said McGlade. “He’s good in himself and certainly bright enough.”

Provided he comes through this weekend’s run in good shape, Karlos will be back at Te Rapa a fortnight later attempting to defend his Dunstan Waikato Hurdles crown.

“We’ll got along the same path as last year and probably have another go at the Great Northern,” said McGlade.

Karlos has proved most versatile, winning on the flat as well as over hurdles and steeplechase courses.