The Elder name will pop up on seven occasions – either as a trainer or a driver – when harness racing returns to the Tamworth Paceway on Thursday afternoon.
The Maitland based family - father Darren and his two children Melanie and Brad - will all appear at the eight-race meeting, Darren as a reinsman, Melanie as a trainer and Brad as a reinsman.
“We all work well together and that makes things tick over,” Melanie said.
“We are always busy around the stables - there are plenty of jobs to do.”
Brad won the Tamworth HRC Drivers Premiership last season with 32 winning drives and was a nominee in the TAB Kevin Newman Award For Driving Excellence at the recent Harness Racing NSW Awards night.
“Brad’s success speaks volumes - he is a hard worker and deserves to get where he is,” added a proud sister.
Melanie has held her trainers’ licence for just over 12 months and will head to the Tamworth meeting with Days End in the PKF New England North West Chartered Accountants Pace while Sports Bounty is looking for a run after scoring first emergency in the John’s Auto Service Tamworth Pace.
Days End will be driven by her father, Darren.
“I have had a fair few starters at Tamworth but no winners yet,” she commented.
Melanie has had an enviable start to her training career and had a stint in America last year in training establishments before returning home to take out her own trainers licence with Harness Racing NSW.
“America was something I wanted to do. I love the sport and the horses. I chose to go to America to prove to myself that I could do it (being a trainer) on my own,” she said.
“It was unreal - I got very attached to the horses.”
A year is a short time in harness racing but she hit gold when she accepted the Daily Form Services Junior Trainer Encouragement Award at the recent Harness Racing NSW Awards night.
“I was just so thrilled - quite proud of myself,” the 24-year-old said.
As part of the Award Melanie- who also has her own business as a Makeup Artist - can choose a stable that she would like to work with for a week in New Zealand. That as yet has not been finalised but she has her thoughts.
“I will probably choose either the Allstars Stable (Barry Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen) or Brian Purdon stables and I think the best time to go would be around the NZ Cup time,” she said.
She and brother Brad (20) are paving the way under the watchful eye of Darren and grandfather Brian Elder.
“Dad will tell you he is the ‘handbrake,’” joked Melanie who appreciates all the guidance her father is handing out.
She added: “Dad has helped me so much along the way”.
Brad has four driving engagements at the Tamworth meeting after accepting the drives behind Dashing Hannah from the Greg Coney stables; Long Dirt Road and Padrisimo for Jarred Hetherington and Coralie Joy for Richard Williams.
“When we finish at Tamworth, the horses will head to Albion Park to compete in the Australian Young Drivers Championship on Saturday night,” Melanie said,
The Elder’s stable will have four runners competing at Albion Park on Saturday night with Darren having last start Menangle winner Hosier Park (1.57.9) engaged .
As an added note Melanie also has Ashark engaged in the $20,000 Club Menangle Where Horses Fly Final on Saturday night at the Menangle Paceway and you guessed it - reinsman is Brad Elder.
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