Gilpip Homes 800 Metre Final
The 800 metre final was contested by a good mix of front and backmarkers. Craig Harris, who recently won at Northcote, led the field off in front of the likes of Hayes‐Hornibrook who looked to be setting a good early pace. Of the backmarkers, Michael Marantelli looked the sharpest early on as he overtook runners one by one in pursuit of the frontmarkers. Terry McGarity trained Dom Hoskins decided to follow Marantelli and they both overtook the entire field with about 150m to go. With about 80 metres to run, Hoskins overtook Marantelli and raced to the finish line. Hoskins celebrated in style, leaping over the finish line like a seasoned ruckman. Darren Naismith also finished strong rounding out the placings. Dom Hoskins has been a solid performer this season over all distances.
Mornington Peninsula Shire & R.S.S.C 1600 Womens and Veterans
The 1600 metre Womens and Veterans was taken out by David Page followed closely by Ashley Sandison and Matthew McDonough. Tony O’Shea fronted up to run after battling with a calf during the week; however, officials are not sure whether he ran the required amount of laps. The crowd certainly enjoyed him step up to the unfamiliar distance. Robert Kenshole, the winner of the 1600 at Maryborough set a good early pace from the front. Backmarker Matthew McDonough worked hard to bridge the gap and found himself only 50 metres off the front with about 300 metres to go. However,
Ashley Sandison stepped on the gas with 1 lap to go, charging down Kenshole. David Page stuck to the back of Sandison and with 150 metres to run; it looked to be a race between the 2 of them. Page was too strong over the last 50 metres and he crossed the line in first position. McDonough ran a mighty race from the backmark to round out the placings. Page, continuing on his good form from last season recently came 2nd at Maryborough in the same event.
Hillview Quarries & Maw Civil 120 Metre Womens Diamond
The 120 Metre Women’s Diamond was taken out by Eleni Gilden with Kim McDonough and Nadia Domaschenz rounding out the placings. Domaschenz had already managed a 3rd placing earlier in the day in the 70m novice. Both of the Domaschenz girls looked good in their heats and were among the favourites leading into the final. So too did backmarker Katie Moore as she looked to consolidate on her 3rd placing at the Warragul Open 120. Frontmarkers Gilden and McDonough got off to a good start making it hard for Moore & Co to catch them. However, Moore and Hilditch stormed home late but it wasn’t quite enough to catch the girls up front who battled right to the line making it a very close finish. Gilden finished 2nd in the Women’s 120 at Maryborough and saluted in the 400m Womens event so had very good form coming into this. More known for her talent over longer distances, Eleni has now proven she is more than capable going down the straight.
Rye & Dromana Community Branches Bendigo Bank & VRTA 70 Metre Novice
In his first Pro running season, Dean Dobric took out the final from Timothy Rosen and Nadia Domaschenz. Dean won his heat in the fastest time and was favourite heading in to the final. Dean has performed well so far this season and has been knocking on the door with 2nd placings at both the Northcote and Gippsland meetings and will now try his luck in the Open events.
Clarrie Jennings & Sons/Wittingslow Carnival 70 Metre Open Handicap
Better known for the one lap event, Alex Carew is doing some serious damage in the VAL this season down the straight. After taking out the Gippsland Gift last month, he managed to take out another victory, this time in the 70 metre event. In the final, he had to contest previous Stawell Gift winner Sam Jamieson, who started just 0.25 metres behind him. It was a very close finish but Alex managed to catch Mark Hignett (3rd) out in front and held off Jamieson (2nd). We hope to see Alex unleashed in a 400 metre event this season.
BROO 400 Metre Women’s Handicap
Stephanie Mollica saluted in the 400 metre women’s event with a classy performance from a 15 metre handicap. Mollica and Moore both got off to a good start with Mollica tracing Moore’s steps for most of the journey. With about 20 metres to go, Mollica found herself in the lead and was comfortable holding off the challenge from Tara Domaschenz. Mollica has been in red hot form of late coming 2nd in both the 550 Metre Women’s event at the Bay Sheffield and more recently the 400 Metre Ringwood Gift.
Jim’s Test & Tag 1600 Metre Open Handicap
Ned Donohoe won the 1600 Metre event in style from Andrew Platten and Joshua West. From the gun, Donohoe got up to and passed Joshua West early. West was content to follow Donohoe for the majority of the race as they both picked off runner by runner ahead of them. Andrew Platten was also running a solid race and was giving them something to work towards. With about 250 metres to go, Donohoe went into the lead with Platten going into 2nd spot. West was running out of puff and while Platten was battling on bravely, Donohoe raced clear with about 100 metres to go to take out the race in convincing fashion. Donohoe doesn’t race often in the VAL but he is a quality athlete and we hope to see more of him this season.
Hillview Quarries & Maw Civil 120 Metre Rye Gift
Mr Consistent Cam Dunbar took out the Rye Gift in what was a very close finish. Kevin Brittain chased hard to take second place while Mark Hignett almost held the backmarkers off but could only manage third place. Adam Coote went in as one of the favourites but it seemed the pressure got to him as he broke in the final and was penalised a metre. Dunbar was also put off by a bell in the crowd but luckily he put his hand up so the steward could restart them. Once they finally got away, Brittain looked to be the one who got the best start but Dunbar was getting better as the race went on. Hignett was also making it hard for the backmarkers to get to him but they managed to and it made for a close finish. It was Dunbar’s first win of the season but he is no stranger to the dais with countless wins and placings.
Rye Hotel 400 Metre Open
Daniel Lawlor took out the one lap event with a commanding run. After winning his heat in the fastest time, he was too strong in the final when everyone else was battling for position behind him. William Little and Josh Mather rounded out the placings. Although there were solid runs from the backmarkers in Mather, Hoskins and Little, Lawlor was up to the challenge. Lawlor recently competed at the Bay Sheffield Carnival where he placed in both the 800 metre and 1600 metre events. The win shows he’s no slouch over the shorter distance.
Rye RSL 300 Metre Veterans
Norman Maguire took out the event in a close finish from Robert Wishart and Glenn Cooper. Steven Tilburn went out like a mad man from the gun but couldn’t finish off the race as Maguire came over the top. Glenn Cooper is starting to run well again as he stormed home for third. It was Norman’s first win of his Pro Running career. He has been knocking on the door this season making finals on three occasions.