2nd January 1951
IN one of the best races ever seen on the West Park track, West Tamar runner, Wally Lewis, off 13yds, yesterday won the Burnie Gift in 11 3/5 second - the fastest time since the inception of the race in 1889.
C. A. Shirley, of Hobart, sprinted superbly from 10 yds to run 3½ yds inside evens and finish second, a foot behind Lewis.
The start was practically faultless, but some thought that E. P. Brown, who was favourite after he won the fastest heat in 11 3-5s lost a little ground.
Miles Ponsonby, off 15 yds, led the field at the 25 yds mark. A.O. Parsons (Hobart), off 14½ yds, was catching him, and Lewis had passed Brown.
With 50 yds to go, Parsons was in front and Lewis had moved into second position. Brown and Ponsonby were running equal third. Shirley was moving up and had almost caught Hobart runner G. D. Waugh (12 yds).
At the 75 yds mark, Lewis had hit the front. Parsons was inches away running second, and the other four
runners were practically tn a line.
In the last 10 yds. Shirley caught Parsons and looked like passing Lewis. However, the West Tamar runner finished strongly to win by a foot from Shirley.
The rest of the field was only inches behind Shirley, practically in a line.
Aided By Tail Wind
A steady tailwind enabled excellent times in the heats and semi-finals of the Gift, and most winners in the heats and semi-finals of the Gift broke 12 seconds.
In the first heat, veteran runner Ray Geary (Burnie) * broke down. Perhaps the hardest fought heat was between the two Hobart runners, C. A. Shirley and R. W. O'Toole. Shirley won by a foot.
M. Ponsonby (Burnie) provided a surprise when he won the last semi-final by the narrowest of margins. Ponsonby has been running for about five years without a great deal of success.
Ulverstone runner Brian Vander seen completed the hat-trick by winning the quarter-mile handicap
yesterday. Last week he won events at the Ulverstone and Devonport carnivals.
(1st prize £150 and cup, Commonwealth Jubilee trophy, and sash; 2nd £50, 3rd £20, 4th £10)
1 - W. P. Lewis (West Tamar), 13 yds.
2 - C. A. Shirley (Hobart), 10 yds.
3 - A. O. Parsons (Hobart), 14½ yds.
4 - G. D. Waugh (Hobart) 12 yds.
Others; E. P. Brown (14), J M. Ponsonby (15).
Time: 11 3/5s.
(£40, £15, £5)
1 - B. M. Vanderseen (Ulverstone) 34 yds.
2 - D. E. Smith (Hobart) 30 yds.
3 - J. F. Conway (Hobart) 30 yds.
4 - J. S. Clark (Riverside) 35 yds.
Others: L. J.Giliey (20), R. D. Pears (30), R. W. Deverell, G. M. Force, J. G. Gillett (32), W. S. Gaffney (35).
2 yards; foot.
Time: 48 1/5s.
* Ray Geary won the 1945 Burnie Gift and Ray's son Mick won the 1982 Burnie Gift. The Geary family donate the trophy to the trainer of the Burnie Gift winner.