Mann hits 'books' with fine win
From KEN MOSES
Stawell Monday 15th April 1952
LANCE MANN was responsible for one of the biggest payouts by bookmakers in the Stawell Athletic Club's history when he won the final of the Stawell Gift this afternoon.
Although he won £600 only on himself, "books" paid out more than £15,000.
The final was a battle between two of the Essendon footballers, stars of last season.
Mann only defented his clubmate, Norm McDonald, by a foot, with another two feet covering the rest of the field.
Mann started at 6/4 on, with McDonald 2/1. The third placegetter, Bill Clingan of Ballarat, was 3/1; Charlie Smith of East Melbourne, fourth, at 10/1; and Doug Gardiner, of Coburg, fifth, at 20/1.
Ever since the handicaps of the Gift were released, Mann was always favorite.
It was possible to bet 4/1 about him on Friday night, and before the heats on Saturday he was 7/1, but he always headed the list.
As "dark horses" failed to come to light during the heats on Saturday, his price got shorter, and from the moment he won the last heat he was odds on.
Heavy rain last night, and a further sharp shower between the semi-finals and the final today, made the track heavy, but the time of 11 14-16 was a tribute to Mann's calibre.
He hit the front at 75 yards from Clingan, with McDonald still two yards behind.
He was challenged strongly again by Clingan afthe 100 mark, with McDonald still trailing. It was over the last 30 yards that McDonald “flew”. He passed Clingan but just failed to catch Mann
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