Brett Richards Handicap: (6.75) Coach: Paul Young Unofficial Odds: $13
Very promising young junior who won the Reynella Gift in November. Unfortunately snuck out to Enfield the next day and suffered a hamstring injury and has had a couple of setbacks since. Missed the Bay Sheffield and hasn’t raced since Glenelg. Slowly recovering and if in any shape should advance to the semis, however likely to be in need of a gallop and not ready for this.
Lyall Weir (8.00) Stan Miller $17
After winning the 2008 Marion Gift (12.81 off 7.00m), Weir looked a big chance for the 2008 Loxton Gift only to break in the semi final and fail to make the final. He won the 100m Hallett Cove Gift that season and placed in some other smaller races. Missed all of the 2008/2009 season due to injury then made only the two finals last season including a 4th at Marion (12.86 off 7.25). Only ran 4th off 7.25m in his 2010 Loxton Gift semi. This season again he’s been quiet with his most recent result being a 4th in his semi at Marion before scratching from the 120m Gift at Camden. Showed in 2008 he has the ability but hasn’t stepped up to the plate since and on recent results it won’t happen here either.
Bradley Letton (8.50) Steve Butler $17
Dual Loxton Gift winner from 2003 and 2006 who would love to be a three-time winner. Has run in four Loxton Gift finals, same as Ryan Hancock and one less than the record number of finals appearances held by Leon Burckhardt (5). Ran OK early in the season making the Mt Gambier Gift final, running 3rd at Glenelg and was a surprise winner of the 100m Daylesford Gift VIC on January 3rd. However, has missed recent meetings due to injury and may be lacking the race conditioning for this.
Dylan Hicks (9.75) Brendan Tammo $12
Won the 2009 Whyalla Gift in November of that year and made a few other finals during 2009/2010 including the Bendigo Gift final in March. Has has a relatively quiet season and is yet to make a Gift final this season. Went very close to making the $15,000 Stonnington Gift (VIC) final on 11th Feb, when a close 3rd in the semi. Was 4th in the 2008 Loxton Gift final and is a chance to make the final again.
Neil Thomas (10.75) Aaron Harrison $31
Made several finals over the last two years before winning a much-deserved first sash in the Mt Gambier Novice 120m in December. (12.84 off 10.75). A week later he won his second sash with a win over 70m at the Pre-Bay meet, defeating Bay Sheffield winner Jordan Caldow. Still finding his feet in open Gift company and would be a big surprise to see him in the final here.
Clint Tobin (12.00) Tony Tohl $81
Won the Novice 70m at Whyalla in November and made the Gift final and has been in several other finals this season. Was a big chance for the 120m Bay Sheffield Restricted but broke down with a thigh injury. Hasn’t run much since the Bay after breaking down on Day One of the Bay Sheffield carnival. Will need some time to get race fit so couldn’t see him being ready to resume with a Loxton Gift final.
Heat 1 Assessment
No stand out favourites in the heat with question marks over the fitness of Richards, Letton, Thomas & Tobin. Dylan Hicks is the likely heat winner but you could raffle second place between the other five. If Richards is fit he should advance with Weir but it is a big ‘if’. Hicks should make the Gift final and once there, who knows?
Tips: 1 Hicks – 2 Richards – 3 Weir.
Ryan Rossouw (6.00) Brendan Tammo $11
2010 Loxton Gift winner (12.8 off 7.50) who is benefiting by running more regularly with the SAAL this season. A solid 3rd place in the 120m Gift at Marion (13.00 off 6.00m) was followed by a 6th place in the Camden 120m (13.61 off 6.00). The penalty for last year’s win will probably prevent him from going back to back but definitely a chance to make the final.
Ben Koschade (7.25) Tim Johnson $11
2008 Loxton Gift winner (12.68 off 7.75) who has suffered a few injuries over the last 3 years, preventing him to consistently reproduce his form from 2008. Started off the season well with a 2nd in the Port Adelaide Gift. Best run this season was his 2nd place in the Mt Gambier Gift, which had him marked as an early favourite for the Bay Sheffield. He copped a slight injury at the PreBay meet in Glenelg that prevented him showing his best at the Bay Sheffield. Has not run since the Bay Sheffield so maybe short of a run, but has the experience and would not surprise to see him in the final.
Damian Tohl (8.00) Tony Tohl $11
2007 Bay Sheffield winner who started off the season well with a 3rd in the Port Adelaide Gift then made the final at Mt Gambier. Went off the boil at the Bay Sheffield where he only ran 4th in his semi (12.64 off 8.00m). Returned to form when he flashed home for fourth in the 400m Camden Classic on 6th Feb and would have lightened off in preparation for this. Best Loxton result was a 5th in the 2009 Gift final. Should be no doubt about his fitness and will be strong to the line.
William Bowie (9.25) Tony Tohl $101
Terrific winner of the 2004 Loxton Gift who later that year made the Bay Sheffield final. In recent years has spent a lot of time overseas racking up the frequent flyer points and if rumour is correct scoring plenty of points from ‘frequenting’ foreign fillies as well. No form of note in recent years and has been rarely sighted in a final; a case of No Showie Bowie……Frankly there’s been more sightings of Osama Bin Laden in the Adelaide Hills. Still young enough to recapture some of old form and if he has a big winter under his new coach then is capable of another major Gift campaign.
Steven Hodge (10.75) Luke Hildyard $31
Has developed a reputation as a 70m specialist with multiple 70m wins over the years although he did bob up for a surprise win in the Loxton 300m last year. Ran 2nd in the 2005 Reynella Gift but has about as many final appearances since then as the Richmond Football Club. If he was a footy club he would be in the 6th year of a five year plan. Will be in one of these major finals one day, but like the Tigers we might have to wait another year to see it.
Shaun Ryder (12.00) Tim Johnson $81
Hasn’t made a Gift final since Flagstaff Hill in March 2009 where he ran 3rd (12.75 off 12.25). Last Gift win was Port Adelaide in January 2009. (12.61 off 12.50) Yet to feature in a major final in his 12 years in the sport. Normally runs from a larger handicap than the Loxton limit of 12.00m so is not expected to advance from the heat. Ryder taking home the Loxton Gift sash has about as much chance of happening as Peter Costello’s daughter taking home St Kilda’s Sam Gilbert for a family dinner.
Heat 2 Assessment
One of the tougher heats with three chances for the final. Two former Loxton Gift winners in Rossouw and Koschade will battle it out with 2007 Bay Sheff winner Tohl. All three should comfortably advance to the semis.
Tips: 1 Tohl – 2 Rossouw – 3 Koschade.
Wallace Long-Scafidi (5.50) Tony Tohl $26
Brilliant winner of the Mt Gambier Gift back in December (12.55 off 7.50). Was injured soon after which curtailed his Bay Sheffield chances. Returned to racing at Marion, making the final of the 300m. Had his first start off blocks at Keilor last Saturday 19th Feb, and was well beaten in his heat. Will take some time to get the form back and adjust to the new handicap following the penalty for winning at Mt Gambier. Too much doubt about his form to be seriously considered a chance in this.
Adrian Harris (7.25) Michael Buckler $21
Has developed a reputation as a 200m/300m specialist after winning the Loxton 300m and Pulteney Novice 200m in 2009 and the Tea Tree Gully 200m on 15th January 2011 (20.20 off 16m). Did not compete in 2009/2010 but has returned in good shape as demonstrated by the Tea Tree Gully win. Only ran 4th off 7.75m in 12.84 in his Bay Sheffield heat before running 4th behind Palmer & Dartnall in his Marion Gift semi (13.40 off 7.25), beaten 3m. On recent form can’t see him making the final. Prefer in the 300m.
Christopher Powell (8.00) Stan Miller $31
Talented Port Adelaide based runner who has yet to make his mark in this sport. Rarely seen but when he has rocked up certainly shows enough talent to be a genuine contender if he ever gets it together. Will show up and deliver one day but it won’t be here.
Ryan Hancock (9.25) Aaron Harrison $6
Has made more finals recently than Warnie has made tweets. Been in numerous gift finals in the last five years including two Bay Sheffield finals and four Loxton Gift finals. Best Loxton result is 3rd (twice) in 2006 and 2009. Best win was the 2009 Marion Gift (12.80 off 10.00) which he achieved before the 3rd place at Loxton. Has already made the finals of the other two major rural Gifts at Whyalla and Mt Gambier and should be in this final for a record-equalling fifth time. Right time and right place to finally win a major.
Ben Hardy (10.50) Tony Tohl $101
Personal trainer who obviously likes the weights. Solidly built lad who has yet to win an open or novice race. Has gone OK at the under-20 level with a couple of sashes, but unlikely to be in contention for this. 14.63 off 10.50m in the Gift at Marion – slowest time of the day. More chance of Eddie McGuire sitting down to a felafel lunch with Kevin Sheedy than Ben getting past his heat.
David Palmer (11.50) Self-trained $11
Gutsy winner of the 400m Camden Classic (48.13 off 36m) on 6th Feb who’s lead in form included a 2nd place in the 120m Marion Gift (12.94 off 11.75) on 25th Jan. Proved he was in very good knick as he won the veteran’s 300m at Marion, after 3 starts in the Gift and a 300m heat. Has a win at the Loxton venue having won the open 300m, but his best Gift result was 5th in the 2006 final. At 38, surprisingly in career best shape so is a big threat for the final.
Heat 3 Assessment
This heat includes the pre-event favourite for the 2011 Loxton Gift in Ryan Hancock. He has been among the leading contenders for a major SA Gift for four years and the cards might fall in place here as he has a heat which won’t be too taxing for the semi & final. As the only other runner in the heat with any recent Gift form, Dave Palmer looks a certainty to join Hancock in the semis, with Adrian Harris getting the all-important third spot. Would not surprise if both Hancock and Palmer made the final, giving the ‘Heat Owner’ a potential third of the final.
Tips: 1 Hancock – 2 Palmer – 3 Harris.
Dale Woodhams (5.00) Paul Young $21
Big occasion runner who was 2nd in the 2010 Stawell Gift (12.10 off 7.25) but has struggled for form this season and has rarely gone beyond the heat stage. Nice run at Stonnington VIC (11/02/2011) where he was 2nd in the 100m Gift heat (11.00 off 3.50) won by the eventual 3rd placegetter, but struggled last week at Keilor where he ran last in his 120m Gift heat. Will be better suited here and if he gets a whiff of the Loxton grass and dons the red colour, he might lift for the day.
James Cibich (7.00) Frank McHugh $10
Strongly built lad who caught the eye with some good heat runs early in the season. Won the Restricted 120m at the Bay Sheffield (12.56 off 7.50) and has continued his progression with a 4th in the Marion Gift final before winning the 120m Gift at Camden on February 6th. Has literally burst on the scene this year and is shaping up as the best sprinter Frank McHugh has coached for many years. May not be quite ready for this, but a major Gift is on the cards and making the Loxton Gift final offers a taste of what is to come.
Stephan Thiel (8.00) Steve Butler $21
Started off the season in great form and was a terrific winner of the 120m Whyalla Gift in November and also won the 300m the same night. Took a hit in the marks and has struggled to get amongst them since. Sort of like the Schutzenfest, sensational for few days, dancing, singing, celebrating, enjoying his sauce bottle dance……but then it was over and back to business. If he can get back to the early season form, he’s got a good chance of getting a spot in the final six.
Troy Welfare (9.25) Paul Young $101
Novice athlete who is still a fair way off the mark. Hasn’t proceeded beyond a heat in any Gift starts to date and prefer in something easier than this. If he wins his heat, his coach has promised to busk in Adelaide Mall singing Roger Miller covers like King of the Road and Do Wacka Do.
David Gross (10.00) Tony Tohl $8
Impressive heat winner in the fastest time at Mt Gambier (December 2010) before bombing out in the semis which seemed to be an unwanted habit he endured for some time. Won his first Gift sash when he won the Glenelg 120m Gift off 10.50m on December 18. Finally realised some of his undoubted potential when he ran 4th in the 2010 Bay Sheffield (12.46 off 10.75). Ran 3rd in the 2010 Loxton Gift and in January 2011, he ran a close 2nd in the fastest of the Burnie Gift semi finals. Last Saturday (19/02) he ran 3rd over 70m at Keilor and made the Keilor Gift semis, so he’s in form and if he is set for this, will be a massive chance.
Tyson Hancock (12.00) Tony Tohl $51
Best win was probably the 2005 Reynella Gift but has rarely visted the podium in recent years. Last season he opened up with a 3rd at Port Adelaide then had to wait until the end of the season with a 2nd at Flagstaff Hill (12.71 off 12.25). Made the 120m Gift semi final recently at Camden but was a fair way behind Cibich & Rossouw. Has made a number of smaller Gift finals over the years with his best major Gift result being a 3rd in the 2005 Mt Gambier Gift. On current form he won’t be adding Loxton to his gift final collection.
Heat 4 Assessment
Nice heat for the 2010 Bay Sheffield finalist and Loxton Gift second favourite in David Gross. He shouldn’t have any problems winning the heat after a nice ‘warm-up’ at Keilor last week. The all important second and third spots will be up for grabs and on recent results would go to the in-form James Cibich afer he won at Camden 3 weeks ago and probably Thiel although Woodhams will be right up there.
Tips: 1 Gross – 2 Cibich – 3 Thiel.
Jordan Caldow (3.75) Peter Burdett $11
Opened with a brilliant and emphatic win in the 120m Port Adelaide Gift (12.30 off 7.00m) in October, then seemed to get better as he charged through the early part of the season, culminating with a stunning Bay Sheffield victory (12.15 off 6.75). Still only 17, Caldow is one of the most exciting talents to emerge in the last 20 years. Recently won another national beach sprint title and the state junior 100m championship. Showed his class again when he beat current state 100m champion Rob James off scratch over 50m in the Camden skins. Didn’t make the Camden 120m Gift final, but loves the big occasion and this is the sort of event he finds a metre for. Warmed up with 11.14 for 100m into the wind at Hobart last Sunday. Genuine final chance.
Anthony Varvounis (7.00) Paul Young $101
Novice athlete who recently joined YGTS. Debuted in the 200m at Tea Tree Gully, running 4th in a heat (22.12 off 12m). Will make his 120m Gift debut at Loxton, so not expected to go beyond the heat. Looking forward to the day he does win a sash because his mum’s authentic Greek sweets & cakes will be worth the celebration.
Nickolas Berry (8.75) Tony Tohl $67
Novice athlete who enjoyed a Bay Sheffield semi final after only two athletes turned up for his heat. No Gift form yet to suggest he would advance beyond his heat. Promising type who is formerly from the area (Berri) so should enjoy catching up with family and friends. No.
Greg Franks (9.00) Paul Townley $101
Masters athlete having his first run with the SAAL. At 50 years of age and with a 100m PB of 12.95 set in March 2010, we do not expect him to cause any worries to his rivals in the heat. Primarily using these events to prepare himself for Australian Masters titles later in the season
Michael Nitschke (9.50) Tim Johnson $21
Another who’s best performances have been over 300m & 400m. Only success over 120m was an impressive win in the 2007 Mt Gambier 120m Novice (12.36 off 8.25) and a win in the 2009 Flagstaff Hill Gift (12.57 off 9.25). Was in some good 120m form earlier this season when 3rd in the Whyalla Gift in November but as the season progressed, his form regressed. Were some high expectations in the 400m Camden Classic, after a good win over 300m at Reynella, but failed to bring his A grade game to the table. Has the ability but doesn’t appear to be in good enough form for the Gift. Might go OK in the 300m.
Ben Wright (11.25) Tim Johnson $21
Sacred Heart footballer, better performed over the 300m to 550m range. Made the 120m Gift final at Glenelg (13.52 off 11.00) but has no other recent Gift form of note. Was sixth in his Loxton Gift heat last year beaten 8m by eventual winner, Ryan Rossouw. Looks to be going similar this season and the 300m looks his best bet for Loxton success. As they said in the Bay Sheffield form guide, ‘making the semis will be an achievement’.
Heat 5 Assessment
One of the easier heats. It’s the type of heat, backmarkers dream of and should allow ‘Flash’ Jordan Caldow to advance to the semis pretty comfortably. The two Tim Johnson trained athletes, Nitschke and Wright should fight out for the remaining semi-final qualifying spots, although it is purely academic as both will advance, as first three go through.
Tips: 1 Caldow – 2 Wright – 3 Nitschke.
Todd Bateman (3.25) Brendan Tammo $8
Rarely runs with the SAAL these days, but pleasantly surprised to see him entered here. Was a close 2nd in his Bay Sheffield semi final and recently ran over 100m recording 10.75 in Perth and 10.80 in Brisbane. Has a PB of 10.50 (Perth, March 2010) so his recent times suggest he’s a few metres off his best. Off his mark, to be a genuine chance, he would need to be closer to the 10.50 shape. But he does fire up in the major Gifts so he’s one of the top chances to make the final.
Andrew Steele (6.75) Sharon Ward $17
2009 Loxton Gift runner-up who has enjoyed making many of the top Gift finals in South Australia and Victoria over the years. Won the 2004 Bay Sheffield and was fourth in the 2009 Stawell Gift, and has also made finals at Mt Gambier (3 times), Loxton (3 times) plus Whyalla, Ballarat and Keilor. Went close when he was 2nd to Leon Burckhardt in 2009, but has struggled this season, not making any finals; and just about to write it off. (The season, not his car). Rumoured to be already training for next season.
Jordan Tronnolone (8.00) Paul Young $9
Very good early season form including a 3rd at Reynella and a 2nd in the PreBay Gift in December. Was unlucky to cop a hot Bay Sheffield semi and missed the Bay Sheff final by millimetres. Immediately atoned for it with his first open wins when he travelled to Tasmania and won the Devonport 70m and the Burnie 90m. Unfortunately suffered a hamstring injury at Burnie and had his first run back at Camden where he cramped up in the 400m and was forced to withdraw. Back on track now and whilst not as race fit as he was in December, he should be around the mark.
Leo Santangelo (8.75) Idika Uduma $101
First year runner yet to make a final, trained by the dual Stawell Gift placegetter. Finishing well back in his races so has rapidly advanced in the marks. Probably another season away from being a genuine contender. Like Ricky Ponting, the more runs he gets the better he’ll be.
Jarrad Dartnall (9.75) Steve Butler $15
Won the Marion Gift in January (12.89 off 10.50) before running a disappointing 7th in the 400m Camden Classic after running the fastest heat time by half a second. Has made the Loxton Gift final on three previous occasions, twice as a teenager in 2005 and 2006 & again in 2010. Has won three races at Loxton: the Novice 70m in 2004 and the Under 20’s 120m in 2005 and 2006. So the Loxton record is impressive and winning the Gift would top it off. Is in good form and should be in the final again and once he’s in the final will need everything to go right. It’s up to him.
Aaron Harrison (11.00) Self-trained $101
Veteran runner who enjoyed his biggest success winning the Whyalla Gift in November 2008. Currently a long way off that form. Ran last in his Marion 120m Gift heat in a very pedestrian 14.50s off 10.75, the second slowest time of all runners at Marion. Prefer others…..actually prefer everyone else.
Heat 6 Assessment
With the question mark over the fitness of Tronnolone, it leaves Bateman and Dartnall as the leading contenders. Bateman should win the heat but he might take some time to catch Dartnall. Doubt the Loxton Gift winner will come from this heat; but then again….It is potentially a heat that hasn’t cost as much as others but the ‘owner’ may be pleased he’/she is holding it when they jump in the final.
Tips: 1 Bateman – 2 Dartnall – 3 Tronnolone
Last edited by Admin on Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:48 am; edited 3 times in total