Day At The Track
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Louth Park harness racing reinsman Brad Elder is looking forward to driving Shezlikeroyalty in the group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge series after her impressive first win at Newcastle on Saturday night. Shezlikeroyalty ($11) cruised to an 11-metre win over stablemate Juslikeroyalty for trainer Darren Elder in the two-year-old pace to close the program. The front-running win in 1:59:1 came after thirds at Maitland and Newcastle for the filly in her first two starts.  "I reckon it's going to be a pretty good horse," Brad said on Sunday. "The way she keeps improving, she should be on the big stage. "She'll have to have a go at the Breeders Challenge, she's going good enough. She went like a rocket last night and got home in 28.2, which is pretty good for a two-year-old. "I never pulled the plugs or touched her with the whip. She did that all herself." The victory was part of a double for Brad, who was rewarded for an early move on Its Allabout Alice ($11) in a two-metre win in 1:55:3 for Maitland trainer Peter Neilson. Elder sat the four-year-old mare behind the leader before stealing a break approaching the home turn. "She's pretty cool to drive and she went pretty good last night," he said. "We got a nice run and we were able to pop off in time and slip away before they could run me down. "She's been racing really good lately. Last week she sat parked, which is not her go, and she still ran second."  "Last night was a pretty good trip and I thought I pretty much had it won with 800 to go and no one outside me." Days End added to a good night for the Elders when he stormed home to win at $41 for trainer Melanie Elder. Michael Formosa, who trained the opening race winner, Rolling With Stell, steered the seven-year-old to victory. Jack Callaghan drove Rolling With Stell and For The Bettor to wins. Mark Callaghan had a training double with For The Bettor and Guptas Cullen. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

“It wasn’t a surprise as she is probably the best of the four with raw ability” was how Sydney harness racing trainer Jarrod Alchin summed up the win of Our Ultimate Julie in Sunday’s the Pit Express 3YO Starmaker Prelude at the Tamworth Paceway. “She (Our Ultimate Julie) worked with I’m A Mystery Girl last week and I’m A Mystery Girl won at Menangle on Saturday night so it wasn’t a surprise that the filly won.” Alchin said, adding that “she will take a lot of benefit from the win” With four runners in the race from the Alchin stables Our Ultimate Julie had the edge over stablemates Our Ultimate Mary who finished second while My Ultimate Major (Ricky Gordon) finished fourth and My Ultimate Romeo (Darren Elder) ninth. “It was good to quinella the race - we will be back for the Final on the 20th for sure,” Alchin said. Maitland based reinsman Brad Elder was engaged to take the reins behind Our Ultimate Julie, who broke through for her first win at race start eight. “It was a terrific drive by Brad and he summed up the situation - we didn’t expect her to be in front,” Alchin said. From the two barrier Our Ultimate Julie came out strong along with the Ernie Mabbott-trained Tralee Rocks (Mitch Faulkner) from the four barrier, with Our Ultimate Julie gaining the lead and certainly dictating the terms out in front. “When the field came out and Jarrod called me to see if I would like the drive, I thought the filly was  a pretty good chance,” Elder said. “She is a nice strong mare and did it easy.” “She had no problems going around at Tamworth so hopefully I will retain the drive in the final.” “It is the first time I have driven the Mach Three filly but I have driven a couple of times for Jarrod before and had a win or two - but I think she has got a bit of ability - she is a big free running horse.” Our Ultimate Julie held a 6.9 metre win over Our Ultimate Mary (Jarrod Alchin) with Maitland runner Rococo (Jamie Bond) 11m away third.   “Her lead time was pretty quick and I just kept her rolling,” Elder said with Our Ultimate Julie clocking quarters of 30.1 sec; 30 sec;30.2 sec and covering the final quarter in 30.3 seconds for a mile rate of 1.59.1 for the 1980m. “Don’t want to pump the tyres up too quick” added a jovial Elder “but I think she is a pretty good chance in the final.” Elder had a driving double at the meeting when he guided the Jarred Hetherington trained Tap It In to a win in The Pub Group Gold Nugget Race Meeting Wednesday 16 January Pace. “We landed in a good spot out of the barrier,” Elder said. “I won on him last week and he felt good in the run tonight.” Landing in the one by one with Tap It In while Pacific Coin (Stacey Weidemann) led the field, Elder made his race move with Tap It Out as the field raced out of the final turn to seize Pacific Coin by half a neck on the line with Kudos Bert (Dean Chapple) 22m away third. “We took off turning into the back straight and ended up coming away and getting them on the line,” he said. “The horse (Tap It In) is going pretty good - Jarred’s team is flying at the moment.” Hetherington himself also had a training double with Lexy Can Wait taking out the Hygain Golden Guitar Final Thursday 24th January Pace with Tom Ison in the gig. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader    

Louth Park harness racing driver Brad Elder hopes a winning return from injury at Newcastle Paceway on Saturday night will lead to a better run of luck. In just his second drive back from a two-week break following a race fall at Newcastle, Elder guided Liukin to victory for his sister, Melanie Elder. He went close to a win in the first race on Alta Surreal, for his father Darren, and could have driven the victor, Jumbo Asakei. Elder, 19, is the regular driver of the Greg Brown-trained Jumbo Asakei, which won by a half-neck with Ashley Hart in the gig. “I usually drive him but I was trying to get my clearance on Friday and if I didn’t get it, it would have stuffed around Browny, so I said I’ll just drive my own this week,” Elder said. He needed the clearance because of bruising and muscle damage from the fall, which was the seventh of his short career and third in the past three months. “It’s always been a horse error, so I’ve been unlucky,” he said. He said he was “a bit sore” after Saturday night’s meeting but it was “nothing that will stop me driving”. The win was his 49th of the season as he chases a second consecutive Newcastle drivers’ premiership. His next focus is Saturday night’s group 2 Bulli Cup at Menangle Park with Shannonsablast. Also on Saturday night, Hart, Josh Gallagher and Will Rixon drove winning doubles. The Sam Dimarco-trained Shadow Runner was one of Gallagher’s drives and an impressive winner after being out of position at the start. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

Maitland father and son Darren and Brad Elder had a night out at the Tamworth harness racing meeting on Wednesday night. Darren Elder picked up a training double, and drove one winner, whilst son Brad drove three winners. Brad picked up his first win for the night behind last start winner Anna Bay Al -trained by Jarred Hetherington - in the Thankyou To Our 2017 Volunteer Pace. Anna Bay Al commenced from the 11 barrier but showed some blistering speed to take out the 1980m race. “Jarred always said he can come with that one run,” Elder said. “I took off at the half and put a bit of a gap on them – maybe he would have gone further if I had pulled the plugs.” After sitting at the tail of the field Elder set the eight-year-old gelding the task of sprinting around the field three wide before the bell sounded. Up the back straight on the final occasion Elder was cruising. “He really did it too easy so he should be winning a few more races up here – Jarred has got him flying,” he added. Anna Bay Al had a 34m win over Risky Buziness (Courtney Sutherland) with Deucestar (Andrew Bourke) a neck away third. Elder then came out in the following event to take the reins behind Red Rocker for Queensland trainer Ricky Gordon in The Pub Group Gold Nugget January 17 Pace. “The second quarter was the best thing for us – it sorted most of them out,” he said. “That was our chance to get into the race.” With Campbell Best (Tom Ison) and Quincy Storm (Paul Grima) locked in a duel out in the lead Elder had to give chase as the bell sounded. The second quarter in the 1980m event was contested in 28.7 seconds. “Down the back he went past them like they were standing still,” Elder said. “I tried to get around the other horse (Quincy Storm) before the corner but he (Red Rocker) powered away in the end.” Red Rocker had a 9m win over Mac Sweet (Lola Weidemann) with Olympic Wonder (Dean Chapple) another 5m away third. Elder then had his last win for the night in taking out the Happy New Year From Tamworth Pace with Justajolt. Trained by his father Darren, Justajolt had a 2m win over Pure Laughter (Danny Mackney) with Dalacos Empress 24m away third. Darren enjoyed a training double for the night with Justajolt and later Sevens Dollar breaking thru for their first career wins. “My daughter Melanie has been working him and she told us to keep him going,” he said of Justajolt. Darren also drove Sevens Dollar and had success with the Dam - Second Dollar,  who had 20 career wins and 17 placings amassing $222,760 dollars in prizemoney. Second Dollar is owned by the Gardner family at Gunnedah who also bred and race Sevens Dollar. “It has been a pretty good ride for us all,” Elder, who also trained and drove Second Dollar in her races, said. “This one (Sevens Dollar) is showing some promise.” “She has got all the writing on the wall to be a good one.” “The mother was exceptional and we have got our fingers crossed that she will turn out the same – she had speed and strength – she was unreal.” At only her fourth career start, Sevens Dollar raced three wide for a full lap before pulling away from the field in the home straight for a 20m win over The Love Bandit, who was driven by son Brad. Wanderin Man (Lola Weidemann) was third another half neck away “I was pretty confident even though I was wide – that is one thing she has picked up from her mother is a little bit of toughness,” Elder said. He also also happy that he gained a win over his son in the race. “Showed him how it is done,” Elder senior joked. “I get pushed to the back now as Brad is doing so well – he has about 400 drives a year and now I’m struggling to get two a month.” Sevens Dollar will be another contender pencilled in for the upcoming Starmaker heat and final series at Tamworth in January. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

When Maitland harness racing reinsman Brad Elder hits Paceway Tamworth this afternoon, he will already be a winner. “I have had five winners in eight days,” said Elder. “One at Tamworth and four at Newcastle over two meetings.” Elder is looking for his “Midas touch” to continue at Tamworth Harness Racing Club’s Thursday afternoon meeting when he takes four drives for the Stacie Elliott stables. He will take the reins behind Cody Shannon in the Thread Effects Pace, Sporty Shannon in the AIMMC Business Consulting Pace. That will be followed by him piloting The Last Cullect in the TAB.COM.AU Pace and Take A Number in the 88.9 Tamworth Pace. “Cody Shannon is a nice horse – I nearly won on him last week at Tamworth,” said Elder.  Cody Shannon finished second to Mondooley Mondo in the Hats Off To Country@The Pub Pace on July 7 at Tamworth. “I hope my winning streak continues. I have had a winner at every Tamworth meeting that I have been to this season,” said Elder. The 19-year-old Maitland reinsman is coming to Thursday’s meeting in peak fitness, as he undertakes “hard yakka” at the Gym to keep himself in form. Last Saturday night, Elder drove Justarumour to an all-the-way win in the $8,000 Glenn Tomlin Memorial at Newcastle. He also secured a RIO gig for his uncle Michael Elder, who trains Justarumour, a Tell All-Justlika gelding. Driving in the final was the sixth time Elder had taken the reins behind Justarumour. He has driven him to two wins. “My second quarter was 31 seconds. So I pinched that and at the 400 metre mark I put a gap in them,” said Elder in reference to the Newcastle win. “When he put the foot down he was off.” Earlier in the program at Newcastle, he drove the Greg Brown-trained Jumbo Asakei to a win in the HV Harness Racing Association Pace. Recently competing in the Harness Racing NSW Rising Star Series, Elder won at Penrith behind Flowers for trainer Jarrod Alchin. “The series was pretty good,” he said.  “I drove a winner at Penrith and that was my first winner at that Paceway, even though I had competed there plenty of times,” he said. At his third season competing on the paceways, Elder is leading the Open Drivers Premiership by one point over Mark Callaghan. He is committed to more drives at Newcastle on Saturday night. The first race at Paceway Tamworth is set to go at 1pm. By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

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

“He might not be the best in the series but he is the best to me and the family.” - This is what Darren Elder had to say about his star runner from the Hunter region in last year’s Inter-Dominion Series, Shannonsablast. Brad admits that Shannonsablast has changed a lot for his family and is the best horse he has driven in his harness racing career. What better present to receive on your sixteenth birthday than to drive your first winner at only your second race driver.   Brad drove Paintmeacanvas to victory for his father Darren at Newcastle on the 30th of May 2014.    Two years on and Brad has now driven a total of 71 winners and picked up a double with Blueridge Shannon and Shannonasblast at Newcastle in July 2014. With two trebles under his belt and still at Maitland High School (Year 12), Brad wants to concentrate on the training side of harness racing once he has out driven his claim.   Born and raised into harness racing, Brad’s biggest inspiration and career influence is his dad Darren and has future goals to win a Group 1.  Brad came close to achieving his goal when finishing 5th with Days End in the Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Four-Year-Old Entires & Geldings Final last Sunday.   His career highlights to date are winning the Gold Nugget, placing second in the Inter City Pace Final and winning the Mathew Jenkins Award. Tomato sauce or gravy: Tomato sauce on everything Football Team: West Tigers Favourite track driven at: Newcastle by far Cats or dogs: Dogs Biggest pet hate: When someone tries to take my food. Ashlea Brennan HRNSW

Newcastle's leading concession driver Brad Elder is set to miss a large part of the harness racing season after sustaining serious injuries in a race fall at Tamworth on Sunday afternoon. Elder fractured his right wrist, tore ligaments in his ac joint and has also torn his pectoral muscle as a result of the incident and is yet to be given a clear indication on when he will be able to return to the sulky. "I'm not sure when I'll be ready to return but speaking with a few people about the injuries I've got it can take a long time to recover, I've even been told twelve months out is not out of the question," Elder said. "I have to go back to the fracture clinic on Thursday week and that should give me a clearer indication, my arm is in a half cast at the moment, they're going to remove that next week and have a look at it again to see if it is healing but if it isn't they will put on another cast." The news has come at the worst possible time for Elder, with the seventeen year old driving eleven winners in the last six weeks. "I thought I was just going to be a bit sore after the fall because I got up and got in the back of the mobile and they took me around to see the ambulance officers, I got checked out, they looked after some gashes on my knees because they were cut up a fair bit but I thought that was about it. "On the way back home in the car from Tamworth, my shoulder was pretty sore so I went to the hospital on Monday and while they were checking out my shoulder the doctor ran his hand down my arm and when he got to my wrist and touched it I just about did a back flip out of the window it hurt that much." Elder went up to the Maitland Showground on Tuesday so he could spend some time around the horses but soon became frustrated. "I'm right handed so I can't do anything, I can't help out and gear the horses up, it isn't much fun at the moment. "I'm not in a lot of pain it is just the inconvenience of not being able to use my hand or arm, I'm meant to go back to school in a couple of weeks but I don't even know if it is worth going because I won't be able to write." Elder can clearly remember what happened moments before and after the fall. "The horse inside me at the start (Rib And Roll) galloped and then my horse galloped and ran out onto the horse Luke McCarthy was driving (Madam Misty), we locked wheels and my gig ended up getting flipped up and I fell out, it all happened very quickly." "Hopefully I'm a quick healer and I can get back driving as soon as possible because I was really enjoying it and starting to get a number of opportunities." Elder is currently third on the NSW Concession Drivers Premiership behind Todd McCarthy and Chris Geary. Greg Hayes

The Tamworth Harness Racing Club commenced their Carnival on Wednesday night and Charli Dollar enjoyed success in taking out the first of many feature races listed over the coming days with an impressive win in the $10,000 The Pub Group Gold Nugget. With a “smart drive” from 17 year old Maitland reinsman Brad Elder the 7yo Armbro Operative-Scotts Dollar mare - who is trained by Elders father Darren  – had a 2.8 metre win over Franco Seville (Tom Ison) and Isobella Maree (Lola Weidemann) 2.1 metres away third. It was also a “local win” for connections as Charli Dollar was bred and is raced by Gunnedah harness identities Terry Gardner, and his son Scott. Brad Elder enjoyed the one by one from the outset of the 2360 metre journey and had the gold nugget trophy firmly in his sight as the field made the final turn into the home straight. “I knew the leader was in trouble and I thought we are a pretty good chance here. The mare did a real good job tonight” added Elder. Strawberry Courage driven by Mark Callaghan led the field with Franco Seville out in the breeze. Elder made his move as the field travelled out of the back straight on the final occasion to come away for the win in a mile rate was 2.01.6 for the 2360 metres with first quarter 31.8s, second quarter 31.6s, third quarter 28.8s and fourth 29.6s. Charli Dollar was making it career win number 20 in the $10,000 feature. “This is only the second meeting I have been to in Tamworth” added Brad Elder “Dad and Pop (Brian) do the training and they got it spot on” “The Gardner’s have always been good to us” added Elder “we have had plenty of horses with them over the years. They are real good owners – no pressure- and they are good to drive for” With Brad Elder winning his first feature race the leading driver in the Hunter Valley was pumped. “Pretty wrapped with the win” “I thought Strawberry Courage would have been hard to beat but I think the distance sorted a few of them out” Having the three barrier Elder knew how vital it was to have a good start to the race. “It was a bit tricky at the start. I was thinking “is it go forward or back”. I just didn’t want to be posted but the way it was the inside horse (Strawberry Courage) kept punching up inside me” “I think I might take the gold home” joked young Elder. The Tamworth HRC is ready to race again this Sunday afternoon with seven heats of the $25,000 Prydes Easifeed Golden Guitar to be conducted – the first year that seven heats have been staged. The Prydes Easifeed Golden Guitar heats have attracted plenty of quality with Narissa McMullen having Murano engaged in Heat 5, Shane Tritton has Katy Perry engaged in Heat 4 and Belinda McCarthy has Downunder Stride engaged in Heat 3. Two Heats of the $15,000 Nevele R Stud Star Maker 3 yo will also be conducted on Sunday night with Gotta Go Gold engaged for Sam Dimarco. All finals will be conducted on Friday night 22nd January by Julie Maughan

Daniel Morgan has seen the highs and lows of harness racing this week.  The 18 year old is set to represent the Hunter Valley in the forthcoming NSW Rising Star Series from the 21st June but in the meantime is keeping his fingers crossed that things play into his favour. Morgan drove Justaglamour to a win for the Michael Osborn stables at Tamworth last Thursday and then “hit the deck” at the Newcastle Paceway on Friday evening when he was tipped from the spider behind Lucky Ned Pepper. “I’m pretty keen for the Rising Star series so I don’t want anything to happen” said Morgan. “There was nothing I could do to avoid being tipped out.” Dan Morgan, along with fellow junior reinsman Brad Elder were angled out of the gig following a race incident in the Coca Cola Pace at Newcastle with Elder being conveyed to Hospital. “I was lucky as I rolled when I was tipped out and nothing hit me from behind. “Brad was taken to Hospital for observation but he is out now” With only three horses completing the race, another junior reinsman in James Harding piloted the winner in Charming Joseph whilst Morgan’s father, Paul finished second with Blackjack Shannon. “I think he (Dad) looked back to see what went wrong,” added Morgan of his father. Following his father Paul into the sport Morgan has had 35 winners. “I have been in the mini trots and then the maxi trots and they were a great experience. “I will just keep going and keep my fingers crossed and try and stay out of trouble” joked the Sheet Metal apprentice. Even though Morgan did see the surface of the Newcastle Paceway in a different light it was easy to go back to the win of Justaglamour at Tamworth the previous night when the Santastic Pan-Chevette Bay 5yo mare won the National Trotguide Pace (1980m). For Morgan, who was having his fourth drive at the Tamworth Paceway, another highlight was his first registered win there. “It’s pretty exciting” said Morgan of the Tamworth win “That was my first winning drive here (Tamworth) so that’s good”  “Michael (Osborn) always does a good job with his horses and she (Justaglamour) always tries her hardest so I knew she would be a good chance “She has got a pretty good record,” added Morgan who drove Justaglamour to a win at Newcastle back in May. by Julie Maughan

Harness Racing was one of 26 sports recognised for development of participants at the Hunter Academy of Sports Presentation Night held at Newcastle University yesterday. Mitchell Chapple, Aleisha Bond, Maddie Bond, Mitchell Frost, Brad Elder, Dan Morgan and Jackson McDonald received certificates as members of the first group to complete the courses. The subjects included Public Speaking, Motivation Talks, Fitness, and Personal Development along with an informative talk on integrity by Deputy Chairman of Stewards Chris Paul. The late Ross Gigg, who was always a great believer in developing the youth, was a major contributor to initiating the programme and Newcastle Harness Club President Mr Jim Bell presented a trophy to Dan Morgan in honour of Ross. It will be an annual award. Dan Morgan also took out the Newcastle University Scholarship. CEO of Hunter Academy of Sport, Mr Ken Clifford, mentioned that a recent meeting of the state’s academy’s, interest had been shown to develop the programme in other regions with Wagga, Bathurst and Tamworth making further enquires. Harness Racing New South Wales           

The Newcastle Harness Racing club has been working with the Hunter Academy of Sport for a number of weeks and are pleased to announce the launch of the first Harness Racing Academy development programme. The Hunter Academy of Sport was formed after an initial meeting on the 21st of January, 1987, between a panel of government, university, councils, community, science and sporting representatives and since its launch in 1988 the Hunter Academy of Sport has successfully developed various aspects of regional sport. They are renowned for its innovative sports programme which covers a wide range of athletes and sports. Today the Hunter Academy of Sport is the largest regional Academy in Australia with some 600 talented young sports people from the region now participating in approximately 30 different talent development programs. They have access to some of the highest profile sports administrators in the land to run their programmes. They have offered to run a fully encompassing development programme for our promising junior harness racing participants. The programme will include items such as, strength and fitness, injury treatment, ethics in sport, nutrition, public speaking, finance, law/rules, dealing with the media, sports psychology and personal development. The programme will commence on the 22nd February. Newcastle CEO Ross Gigg said "To have the Hunter Academy of Sport offer to run this programme for our sport is fantastic. The development programme will not only help our young men and women in harness racing but in their everyday life as well. We are very excited to be able to offer this programme to our first invitees all of who have just started or are about to start their careers in the seniors harness racing ranks" The inaugural inductees are. Daniel Morgan - 17 years from Maitland. Mitchell Frost -17 years from Elermore Vale. Brad Elder - 15 years from Maitland. Mitchell Chapple -16 years from Maitland Jackson McDonald -16 years from Fullerton Cove. Maddie Bond -15 years from Maitland. Aleisha Bond -14 years from Maitland. Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |      

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