McGlades praying for rain in Bay

Hastings has escaped the wet weather which has hit most of New Zealand and that’s not good news for Cambridge trainers Sheryl and Roger McGlade.

The McGlades will be represented in the $35,000 Livamol Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase at Hastings on Saturday by Karlos.

“I’m concerned about the track,” said Sheryl McGlade. “I’d like to see some rain to help Karlos’ chances. He’s very well, but it might be too good for him.”

Karlos will be trekking south to the meeting for the third time. The last two years he has contested the Hawke’s Bay Hurdles — he was a short-head second to Harvest The Gold last year — but the focus is on steeplechasing this time.

The rising nine-year-old has proven his class as a hurdler and steeplechaser. His three hurdles wins include last year’s Dunstan Feeds Waikato Hurdles, while over the bigger fences he has registered a win and three placings from six starts.

He was runner-up to Hypnotize in the 2010 Great Northern Steeplechase and third behind Counter Punch in last year’s Grand National Steeplechase.

The McGlades have given Karlos four runs this campaign, three hurdles and a last-start steeplechase and though he has finished in the tailend each time he is ready to show improvement.

“I was a bit disappointed in his run in the Waikato Hurdles,” said McGlade. “When they sprinted off the back he was left flat-footed, but he didn’t lose any more ground on them.

“Then the weight (69kg) killed him at Auckland. He’s only a little horse and Isaac (Lupton) said even going around to the start he had trouble pulling his feet out of the ground. It was too much in the heavy ground.”

Karlos’ most recent run was in a restricted open steeplechase at Te Aroha and he finished almost 24 lengths from the winner, Man O’Mann.

Provided Karlos performs creditably on Saturday he could stay in contention for a trip to Riccarton for the Grand National Steeplechase. “I’m just playing it by ear at this stage,” said McGlade.