Breeders Challenge heats up

Driver Brad Elder won a heat of the Breeders Challenge last Friday at Newcastle with Mystical Jazz.

Driver Brad Elder won a heat of the Breeders Challenge last Friday at Newcastle with Mystical Jazz. Photo by HRNSW

A further two heats of the New South Wales Breeders Challenge were run on Friday night at Newcastle’s International Paceway as the series begins to take shape in the lead-up to the semi-finals at Tabcorp Park Menangle over the next two Saturday nights.

Talented filly Mystical Jazz booked her place at Menangle when the daughter of For A Reason proved far superior to her rivals on Friday night, scoring by almost ten metres and clocking a fast 1.56.4

Mystical Jazz was having just her ninth race start for trainer Darren Elder and was driven by his son Brad, who gave the youngster a peach of a drive, sitting on the leader’s back until rounding the home turn where he dashed the filly away for an impressive victory.

“She was back to her best on Friday night,” said Brad.

“We have always had a high opinion of this filly.

“It has been hard to split her and our other smart filly Flare Up, who won a qualifying heat at Tamworth.

“We are fortunate to have two nice fillies heading into the semi-finals and hopefully they can do a decent job and get through to the final.” 

The Clayton Harmey trained Saint Crusader proved a little too strong in the two-year-old colts and geldings’ heat on Friday night scoring a narrow win, rating 1.56.9 in the process.

Driven by Mark Callaghan, the Courage Under Fire colt was taken off the gate and settled near the tail of the field before enjoying a tag into the race behind Runfromterror, who was gallant in defeat.

Like Darren Elder, Clayton Harmey was able to capture a Tamworth-Newcastle Breeders Challenge double as his colt Skyfall Benchmark was able to take out his heat.

Harmey provided the quinella at Tamworth with Chatherup only failing by a head to hold off his stablemate.

Four two-year-old heats of the Breeders Challenge were also run at Bathurst last Wednesday night.

The colts and geldings’ heats provided a double for Steve and Amanda Turnbull when Saint Veran and Allstarzzz Frankie both saluted.

The fillies’ heats were taken out by Not To Be Denied for Mark Hewitt and Weona Miss Fortune for Mat Rue.

Newcastle is racing again this afternoon and on a well-balanced eight-race program, Dragon Tattoo (Race 7) and The Narrator (Race 8) both look hard to beat. 


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