Double for Harding at Rangiora
By Mike Love
Hobby trainer Steve Harding produced a memorable first at Rangiora yesterday, with a training double from his only two starts.
“Awesome day .. really rapt," says Harding, "it’s the first time I've trained two horses together. Usually I just have one going.”
Harding, a full-time electrician who trains at McQueens Valley near the Motukarara racecourse, has been training for 15 years.
Both Harding's winners were driven by Ross Cameron, with Manjimup recording his sixth career win in race 3, the Rangiora New World Pace.
“Manjimup went super the start before where he lead up and ran third," says Harding, "he trained on really good, so I thought he would be a good chance with the right run.”
Manjimup made a clean beginning to secure the trail behind Jimmyray. From there Cameron awaited the passing lane which they took to burst through and win, holding off a late finish from Jimmy Arma to win by half a neck.
“He’s a big gangly character and always seems to be getting himself into trouble at home. His legs have been an issue but we are on top of that for now.”
Audacity completed the double for Harding in Race 6, the G K Fyfe Painting Make It Happen Pace.
Beginning from the unruly, Audacity settled toward the back end of the field. Cameron elected to follow the three wide line from the 600m, before being angled wider at the top of the straight to sustain a winning burst to win by one length from Style Council.
“I was really pleased with him too. Both of them work together at home and I was confident with both of them."
“He’s more compact. He’s big. He’s an ideal racehorse. It has taken a bit more time with him mentally. Today Ross said he’s the best he’s been. He was relaxed throughout. His first start he lost the plot at Addington. Pulled his block off and got fired up. I spoke to a few people and got some advice, and it’s paid off.”
Both horses are out of La Moocha, who is a daughter of 2001 New Zealand Cup winner Kyms Girl.
“I struck up a deal with Graeme Trist, he’s bred them, but he’s finished breeding. He’s given me the La Moocha lot. He gets them broken in, and I get them qualified and ready to race from which point we go 50/50.”
Harding has now trained nine winners and earned close to $100,000 in stakes.
The card's feature event, the Rangiora Equine Services Amberley Cup, was taken out by race favourite Dalton Shard for Robert and Jenna Dunn who trained the quinella along with Double Time.