The voting is well spread in the gift this week. Trinity holds a bonus that may entice some of the athletes to have a crack but it is also a race where some may scratch preferring the bigger carrot of a Stonnington Gift win in a weeks time. If I were someone chasing a bonus then this is the one I would have looked at as the win will not come with the same scrutiny as some of the others. I had to drop to 5% to make the post interesting enough, especially if this is one of the last.
Nick MacGibbon 6.5m 5% - Looking at the field MacGibbon stands out. If he runs he should win. Simple. He has done it all when it comes to milking form. Those who have been around for a while look at Jack Donaldson winners and wait for them to realise that they are even better. This young man could scare a few in a Stawell Gift final off 7m. Is he as good as some of the other runners around that mark who have won the big one? I am not entirely sure but he will final if still fit. If he runs he finals as a minimum.
James Vine 6.5m 6% - Vine will not win this race. I cannot see him taking a Trinity over a Stonnington or a Bendigo. If he wins Stonnington, which he wont do, he would definitely take it. Is his focus on another Stawell final. Why not. He could run this season, he has little form and can go missing until Northcote next year where he takes a full metre and hides away for one more shot. Imagine him off around the 8m mark. Scary.
Oliver Wurm 8.25m 6% - Wurm has had a crack at most of the major 400m races this season and is probably a little unlucky that he has not picked one up. Can he win the Opal and then get in to the gift final? Keep an eye on the human lumbricina but mark him down for next season. In the same boat as Vine now for me. Semi at best.
Cam Dunbar 8.5m 8% - Mr Consistency showed us once again that he can handle the pressure of making a big final but again did not get the win. If he is not firing yet then when he wants to he will win. He is obviously being looked at by more than just me. I feel that if he wanted a bonus for Stawell he would have taken it by now. Not sure that Trinity is on his bucket list.
Callum James 9.5m / Dion Paull 9.5m 8% - James is absolutely in line for a win. Which distance is confusing me. A very good mark with a very astute coach. What is the plan with him is anyones guess but he could take a win here and find himself sitting pretty at the end of the season. Not sure he can use the bonus to make the biggest final of them all though. One to put in your black book with an asterix. Paull has looked a shell of himself this season. He has not shown much of that form that saw him feature in many of the finals last season. He ran a very good 70m at Bay but left his form at Colley. If he gets fit he wins any race he enters. Will he be left with this one? No, he wont final.
Jay Blake 15.25m / Jonathon Rogers 15.5m 5% - Both of these athletes fit the bill for a smaller gift win. Way out in front of the other chances and no hope of winning a bigger gift. Blake won a Terang Gift a few years back and looked like he was going to improve further but has not been able to really find a higher level of form to challenge regularly. Could get left with it if no one wants the bonus. Rogers has looked ordinary in his gift racing this season. His results do not indicate that he will get over the line here. Winning a 300m last week, well done by the way, tells me that he may have found some form but I am yet to see it in a 120m. Like Blake he may get left with it though. Both are final chances but should not win.
I am not sure what I am looking forward to most. The results or the stewards report. Probably the stewards report this week.