Hardman: Richmond Romp Nangar Rust's Best Yet

TRAINER Mick Hardman has declared Nangar Rust’s stunning 30.51 Richmond victory on Sunday evening the best of his brief yet blossoming career.

Adam Dobbin

30 March 2020

TRAINER Mick Hardman has declared Nangar Rust’s stunning 30.51 Richmond victory on Sunday the best of his brief yet blossoming career.

“I thought the run was outstanding,” beamed Hardman of Nangar Rust, which went around a remarkable $2.40.

“He missed the start but then showed a lot of field sense to whip up around them like he did. He had to think his way through it down the back and didn’t get to the front until the home turn and still won by seven lengths – beating city dogs.”

To say Hardman was forced into changing tact with his star prospect in the past seven days would be an understatement, trading the bright lights of Sandown Park for Sunday’s Richmond meeting.

After two scintillating Sandown trials – running 28.95 and 29.03 – the son of Bella Infrared and Fancy Liza was all systems go for last Thursday’s $420,000 Launching Pad heats.

But with the lucrative series cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hardman elected to give Nangar Rust a hit-out at Richmond on Sunday, recording another mesmerising performance.

“There are two ways you can look at what’s happened the past week,” Hardman said.

“There’s the negatives and the positives. Sure it’s disappointing to miss the race but he’s now been to Sandown three times and is qualified for the Speed Star.

“I’m one to look at the positives and with everything else going on in the world and how tough people are doing it, I reckon we’ve got things alright if we are worrying about a dog race.”

Winner at four of his seven starts, Nangar Rust was bred by Dennis Barnes with Hardman full of praise for the Cudal stalwart.

“I’ve known Dennis for a long time and bought a lot of dogs off him … we speak most days,” Hardman said.

“There wouldn’t be anyone in our industry that tells it like it is like Dennis does. You can take him on his word. If he says they’re slow they’re slow and if he tells you they are rockets then they’re rockets.

“He was raving to me about Nangar Rust and Nangar Kane last year but was keen on holding onto them. I remember trying to buy him on a Wednesday and Dennis was racing in Queensland on the Thursday, he rang me on the Friday and said I could have him. It’s worked out well.”   

And while ticking over nicely, Hardman concedes it’s just a matter of time until we see the regally bred galloper over further.

“He’s got stayer written all over him,” Hardman said.

“Providing everything is still moving along I’d say it’ll be about six weeks until we get him up over the staying distances. With the zoned racing I’ll work him up and look for a 590 at Bulli to start with.

“The Sandown Cup is in May and that’s in our plans. And if that does happen then the trips and experience at Sandown the past few weeks will have done him the world of good.”

Just three weeks ago Hardman made the move from his Bligh Park home in western Sydney to his new 110 acre property in Parkesbourne, just out of Goulburn.

“All the dogs have thrived since the move but Nangar Rust probably more so – I should have made the move years ago,” Hardman said.

“Before I set things up I was having a coffee with Doreen Drynan and I asked her what I should build … a straight track, sprint runs or a paddock?

“She told me that if I had the space for a galloping paddock that’s what I should do. So that’s what I did. It’s 10 acres and the dogs are loving it.”

Hardman ventures to Goulburn on Tuesday with four runners on the program, confident he can leave with a couple of winners.

“Libby’s Fancy (race 7) and Non Plussed (race 10) should be hard to beat,” he added.

“I’ve also just got old Nangar Kash and Nangar Blaze back as well so hopefully they measure up to some masters races coming up.”