As requested by Mex, here are my thoughts on the chances of each of the Stawell Gift lift winners far. I'll go in reverse order to you Mex.
Lugo: Based on the weekend he would have to be a chance to go 12.2-3 at Stawell on a far more friendly track. That is with no further improvement from now until then. I'll be watching his 70's closely from now until Stawell to see how he goes against the likes of Bailey from a metre ahead, and Burleigh from a metre behind.
Hanna: 5.25m is a fairly handy mark come Stawell for a guy with a PB of 10.68. I don't think it'll be enough to make a final, but if he draws the right semi he can sneak in. I'm thinking he will run slightly faster than his ballarat time come Stawell.
Boulton: If the Stawell Gift was his only focus all season, there's no doubt 6.5m is enough to final. But I think you'll find Jack will spend the rest of his season trying to run 47s and below for a 400 and sneak his way onto the World Junior team either in a relay or the individual.
Moss: I think this will be very Similar to Hanna. Has a quarter of a metre more than Hanna, with a PB slightly slower. It'll all depend how much he improves between now and then. I wonder if we can get some video of him vs Houlihan at Santos to give us more of an idea about how those two are going. His run in Canberra the other night was impressive on a night where a lot of runners struggled.
Bailey: Certainly not lacking confidence these days is Jason. But in fairness to him he is a far better athlete even this year than last. In my opinion he has improved a couple of metres on last year. And is 2m back. Therefore he has to be a top 3 chance. And certainly a chance to final. He will run a similar time at Stawell this year, but off 2m less. Which would be a very good effort.
Ware: Honestly would not have a clue. I think he might have other focuses this year outside of the gift, but if the Ed Ware of St.Albans turns up come Easter Monday then why can't he make another Stawell Gift Final? He made a very good final field look silly. I personally hope he is going well enough to make a Gift Final, cos it keeps him away from other events at Stawell
Burleigh: The most likely guy that everyone has to run down in the gift final. He destroyed the field at Rye. One of the most impressive gift wins of the season. He starts 2m ahead of Bailey here, and does so in the 70s so we can get an idea off that. I think the last 40-50 they are similar speeds, so whoever is winning the 70m battle by the end of the season will be the Ireland runner finishing ahead come Stawell.
Camille: Two time Stawell Gift finallist. But has never won a heat at Stawell. So I think Ryno will be trying to tick that one off the bucket list to start
But in all seriousness, that win at Daylesford was clearly the best I've seen him move since his last Stawell Final, and I don't think he was anywhere near his best yet. If he stays injury free from now until Stawell I think he is a massive chance to make it 3 Gift Finals. Will be ahead in the semi with 20 to go...
Omuvwie: What a season this legend is having! Back to 1.75m now because of multiple wins and I assume he will turn up at Stawell off maybe 2m? I think he could run 10.49 and below at nationals in 6 weeks time, but that still won't be enough to win Stawell. And probably not enough to final either.
Nettlefold: He is off a similar mark to Bailey in the 70, and has run similar times to him. And starts half a metre behind him in the gift. He certainly has the right coach if he wants to go well at Stawell. Matt Carter is a gun. But can he go past Bailey? But then you look at this Waverley run and he has beaten Burleigh, Bailey, Lugo by 1m plus. One of the real unknowns come Easter time.
Houlihan: Quite simply, if Houlihan is in the shape he was in when he came 2nd off 7.25m at Stawell in 2015, he will final this year off 6.5m. He might even be a chance to win. We can't forget that in his semi he ran 12.02 raw in the wet. We just have not seen him in that shape since. But a few of my sources are telling me that he is only a metre or two off that and going better than what some may think.
Hunt: More than capable of making a final off 3.5 if he is in the same shape he was in at Warnambool. The worry is doing a massive Hammy in December. I have no idea what his recovery has been like, the shape he is in now, and can't really comment until I see him race in some form. At his best he probably has the guys just ahead of him in the marks covered. Except one.
Mason:The 2020 Stawell Gift Winner if he turns up fit and without injury niggles. I'll leave it at that. That's all that needs to be said.