10 February 2011
High-class line up set to race Friday’s Stonnington Gift.
Three of the Stawell Gift’s previous winners will fight it out this Friday night at the inaugural Stonnington Gift at Toorak.
Tom Burbidge, Aaron Stubbs and Sam Jamieson, all Stawell Gift winners will join a strong field including interstate athletes, Dale Woodhams (SA), Daniel Burgess (NSW) and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Brendan Cole (ACT).
Former Prahran Gift placegetter and award-winning trainer John Henry predicts Mornington Peninsula young guns Matt Carter and Tom Templeton could be the ones to beat, along with the unknown quantities of hurdlers Dan Martin (World Youth Championship representative 110m Hurdles), and Brendan Cole over the 100m grass track.
Barbados Olympian Andrew Hinds has been forced to withdraw with passport reissuing problems. He is stuck in Bridgetown Barbados and will complete his journey to Australia in a fortnight.
Victorian Athletic League Chief Handicapper, Mark O'Brien said the Stonnington Gift is shaping up to be the best field at an Australian professional meeting outside the Stawell Gift seen in recent times.
“Such is the strength of the field, we could be looking at this year’s Stawell Gift winner run down the track,” Mr O’Brien said.
The Stonnington Gift’s races include the 100m Men's and Women's feature Gift, 300m Veteran's, 550m Open, 1600m, Open, U20 100m, as well as a Cricketer's Pad and Bat Race.
The feature Gift prize money is $15,000, with the first place winner receiving $7,000 in cash, a year's Genesis Fitness Club Prahran gym membership and a Mercedes Benz car to drive for a weekend – a prime opportunity for the winning athletes to drive to the Stawell Gift carnival at Easter.
East Malvern Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank is the event's major sponsor, providing the cash prizes.
The starter’s gun fires at Toorak Park from 6.30pm this Friday 11 February.
For more information contact: Andrew Muhlhan 0412 339 294