Racing: Myers has grip on Steeples

By Mike Dillon

Sea King, Krase and Get Flash set to cash in at Te Rapa tomorrow while Mr Mor is the interesting runner.
Sea King (left) has a tough job under 70kg topweight in the Waikato Steeplechase tomorrow. Picture / Martin Hunter
Sea King (left) has a tough job under 70kg topweight in the Waikato Steeplechase tomorrow. Picture / Martin Hunter

The jumping season kicks off in earnest at Te Rapa tomorrow and it's the age-old question - what's fit and what isn't.

It's a great thing the major races begin at Te Rapa, which never gets to be a bog, but relative fitness is still important.

One factor you can rely on - Kevin Myers will have his runners in the $50,000 Porritt Sand Waikato Hurdles and $50,000 Warren Storm Waikato Steeplechase.

With three runners, Sea King, Krase and Get Flash engaged Myers has a great chance of taking away most of the money in the Steeples.

Sea King won this race last year under 66kg and has a significantly tougher job this time under 70kg topweight. His ability to successfully carry that was hinted at when he was narrowly beaten at Wanganui last start under 72kg.

He has a good record at Te Rapa, winning the 2013 Waikato Hurdles, being narrowly edged out in the same race a year later under 70kg and was always in command when he won this 12 months back.

Even on 70kg he commands plenty of respect.

Krase, with 1kg less, has an excellent overall record with two wins in Melbourne two winters back including the Australian Steeples. To have him ready for this Kevin Myers recently sent him to Riverton for a steeplechase and he finished a game second. That trip and the race will have him very ready here.

Get Flash has won only one of his steeplechase starts, but last winter looked as though he would be better this time in with his previous experience. That included running on all three days of the Grand National meeting at Riccarton finishing second twice before a gallant fourth to the highly talented High Forty in the Grand National.

On 65kg he poses a threat.

Mr Mor is the interesting runner. He finished second in that Grand National to High Forty and although now 11 he does not look past it.

Rain this week will assist his chances and he will produce something, even if he is likely to be improved for this race. Thenamesbond should go close to getting compensation in the Waikato Hurdles for his narrow defeat at the hands of San Pedro in the lead-up on this course last start.

The winner of five over fences made a bold attempt to be in the pace in that race and was run down by San Pedro only in the concluding stages. Thenamesbond carried a very tough 71kg in that race and meets San Pedro 3kg better off this time. With only one length between them that day, it puts the speedy jumper in with a great chance. He enjoys wet tracks and the prospect of rain on the day will do him no harm.

Any rain would also help Just Got Home, a dogged stayer who was beaten a nose by Prologue in this race a year ago. He is also a winner in lesser company on this course and loves it wet.

Gagarin has earned his share of topweight by last winter winning the Hawke's Bay Hurdles and the Great Northern at Ellerslie. He is rugged and although inclined to be erratic earlier in his career, appears to have settled.

San Pedro is relatively new to the jumping game, but has won three of his five races. This is his toughest test but he has to be considered.

- NZ Herald

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