David Harding's great win

13 March 2018 | Graham Fischer

Sunday, March 11, 2018 will be a notable day in the life of former champion South Australian reinsman David Harding.

Now starting his own training career, Harding landed his first major success when former Western Australian pacer Condrieu took out the 2018 UBET Kapunda Pacing Cup, then later in the day his partner Danielle Hill was a runaway winner of the inaugural Australian Female Drivers Championship at Launceston in Tasmania.

The Kapunda Cup also saw top young South Australian reinsman Michael, David’s cousin, land his best win in the sulky while it was a stable quinella with Bettor Party, trained by Les Harding, finishing second.

In an exciting finish, Condrieu ($3.80) finished best out wide to score a half neck win in the 2610 metre staying test from Bettor Party ($2.30 fav) with Rap Artist ($5.20) a metre away third.

“I’ve known Greg (Bond) for a quite a while and done business with him previously,” Harding said.

“He originally rang and offered Condrieu for sale and I considered buying him in partnership with Jake Webster, but we decided not to, but Greg said he would still send the horse to me.

“He has been a good horse earning more than $260,000 but Greg felt he needed a change of scenery to reboot his career.

“He is a bit one-paced, but the tempo of today’s Cup suited him perfectly.”

Duke of Albany ($19.30) led early while Jake Webster, on Bettor Party, sat wide early from gate five before going to the spot outside the lead and trying to take the lead.

Jayden Brewin, on the leader, was reluctant to give up the front but after a 200-metre battle, finally conceded.

Webster kept a good tempo on with 30.6 and 30.9 first quarters of the last 16500 metres before increasing for a 29.1 third quarter and 30.8 final sectional.

Michael Harding, who recently took out the Claiming Cup at Globe Derby Park on Ona Rocky Beach, again showed his driving maturity.

Condrieu settled second last in the running line in the small field of eight and with just over a lap to go, Ryan Hryhorec on Mark Dennis ($5.30), which was last tried to get Harding moving to take him into the race.

“David said to me around a track like Kapunda, it was nearly impossible to be covering ground more than once around the turns, so I was staying in until we went into the back straight,” Harding said.

“The tempo had suited my horse and in the home straight just kept coming and I was able to grab Bettor Party in the sight of the post.”

Jake Webster said in hindsight he might have driven Bettor Party a little differently.

“I was always going to try for the front but what I would change would be the last few hundred metres,” Webster said.

“Bettor Party was travelling but I sent him for home on straightening trying to put a gap on Condrieu which I knew would be finishing on.

“But after grabbing a break, my horse switched off thinking his job was done, and David’s horse was able to grab me. In hindsight, I should have waited a bit longer before going for home.”

David Harding said the Cup winner would go to the $14,999 Port Pirie Pacing Cup (2530m) on Saturday, March 24 but will again run into Bettor Party and also its stablemate Our Jericho.


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