Day At The Track

Brad Elder escapes major injury in race fall

06:50 AM 28 Oct 2016 NZDT
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CRASH: Brad Elder (centre back in blue silks) during Tuesday's race fall at Newcastle which left him with a broken nose and grazed face.
Harness Racing NSW Photo

Louth Park harness racing driver Brad Elder was lucky to escape with a broken nose and badly grazed face at Newcastle on Wednesday following a race fall which will be investigated further next week.

Harness Racing NSW stewards will hold an inquiry with Elder and Ellalong trainer-driver Michael Formosa on Monday after four horses collided and failed to finish the second race at Newcastle International Paceway. 

Elder, who was sent to John Hunter Hospital straight after the incident and may still require surgery, went face-first into the track after the horse he was steering hit the deck on the final bend of the C1-C2 mile event.

“He was in behind the leader, got checked and then went arse-over-head,” Elder’s father and long-time driver Darren Elder said. 

“He did a big face dive straight into the track and then a couple of them went over the top. It was a mess. Just terrible.”

The video replay shows potential contact between the outside legs of Elder’s seven-year-old gelding The Plainsman and the inside wheel of Formosa’s four-year-old gelding Ultimate Courage. 

Stewards’ comments post race said Elder’s The Plainsman, trained by Chris Bourke of Millers Forest, had been “heavily checked”.  

Elder’s The Plainsman was on the rail and third at the time with Formosa’s Ultimate Courage positioned outside of him and slightly ahead in second. Both were in sight of leader and eventual winner Booty Shake. 

Formosa’s Ultimate Courage continued and finished third after being overtaken in the home straight by The Boys GNP.

However, Elder was tipped out of the gig and over the top of The Plainsman before Blackjack Shannon, Mainland Duchess and Major Charlie crashed into them from behind and all four runners were unable to complete the journey.  

Fourth-placed Chevalcoldhardcash was the only other horse in the race to avoid the pileup.

Elder missed a win later in the program with Love This Dragon and returns to see a specialist on Wednesday to determine the extent of the damage.

The outcome of scans may determine what the Elder family’s stable star, Inter Dominion finalist Shannonsablast, aims for over summer in either Victoria or Queensland following a second at Menangle on Tuesday. 

In the meantime Elder is up for the NSW Country Junior Driver’s Encouragement award at the industry’s state presentation in Sydney on Saturday night.

Racing resumes at Newcastle on Monday.

By Josh Callinan

Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

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