Maitland’s Brad Elder capped the best week of his life last year with a first group 1 drive. This time around he’s aiming for three times better.
The 19-year-old will drive First Fleeter for his father, Darren, and Justarumour for his uncle, Michael Elder, in semi-finals of the NSW Breeders Challenge series at Menangle on Saturday night.
Brad has already secured a drive in the two-year-old colts and gelding decider on June 25 with Bright Energy and he has First Fleeter from gate two in the three-year-old and Justarumour from barrier three in the four-year-old qualifiers. Both need a top-six finish to make their final.
“They’re good draws so we are handy in the run,” Elder said. “First Fleeter is pretty fast so he’ll just come with one run. The other bloke will probably go forward and try to get in front of the other two inside. They are half a chance to get through. It would be nice to have three group 1 drives in one day.”
On Sunday, Elder and fellow Maitland driver Dan Morgan start in the NSW Rising Stars Series, which takes in meetings at Young, Bathurst, Penrith and Newcastle and culminates with the Sunday meeting at Menangle. Elder was in it last year then drove Days End to fifth in the 4YO male decider.
Hunter trainers in other semis are Clayton Harmey with Barbiethebeachgirl and Yourblueyescrying (3YO fillies), Geoff Harding with Modern Beach (3YO male) and Peter Payne with Pumpniron (4YO male).
At Newcastle on Saturday night, Breeders Challenge finalists Black Silhouette, Rockmemama and Swing With A Star feature on a 12-race program.