Posted by Hopwood Wendy
Date: 30th March 2018
The Easter break is here and that means the Stawell Gift. For the 137th year, attention turns to Australia’s greatest footrace in the north-west Victorian town of Stawell.
“For three full days visitors will be treated to top level professional running as well as a host of activities and entertainment for the whole family. The highlight is the Stawell Athletic Club Stawell Gift and the Australia Post Women’s Gift, with $40,000 going to the winners of both,” Stawell Athletic Club President Kieren McIntosh said.
Two-time Stawell Gift winner Josh Ross (2003/2005) in an attempt to be the first three-time winner of the iconic Stawell Gift. He will run off 1.5m. At the Call of the Card Ross was backed into $26 from his starting price of $51.
Last year’s Stawell Gift Open winner Langwarrin’s Matt Rizzo is among the early favourites at $4 and for the Australia Post Women’s Gift it is Kate Jones from Ballarat at $3.
Rizzo has a handicap of 4.5m and will be aiming for back to back wins, which only the great Bill Howard has achieved in 1966 and ’67.
In the Australia Post Women’s Gift Sienna Fighera from Brighton is at $4 and last week’s Parkdale Gift winner Kiara Reddingius at $4.20 from WA and Geelong’s Mia Gross are both paying $5.
2015 Stawell Gift Murray Goodwin who is competing at the Commonwealth Games, believes Rizzo will make the final, along with the highly favoured and experienced Gary Finegan from Qld who is at $4.40 with the bookies.
Joint favourite with Rizzo is Wangaratta’s Hayden Wyllie at $4, followed by Jacob Despard from Lalor and Devon Allen, the US Olympic hurdler and college football star who ran a PB at the recent Sydney Grand Prix at $5.
In the Australia Post Women’s Gift, other early favourites include Prahran’s Steph Jinks $6, Pam Austin from Carrum at $7, with 2014 Stawell Gift winner Holly Dobbyn from Ballarat North, Newington’s Tara Domaschenz and Parkdale’s Hannah Lindstrom all at $8.
With races ranging from 70m to 3200m in distance, the Stawell Gift Carnival will attract some 670 participants to Central Park over the three days. A number of Little Athletics Victoria events will also be conducted over the weekend.
This year Australia Post celebrates 24 years of supporting the Stawell Gift, with the organisation providing equal prize money for the Australia Post Women’s Gift for the past four years.
Easter Monday will feature a 3-hour live broadcast the Seven Network around Australia from 11:30am AEST.
Three days of action-packed racing, activities and entertainment make up the 2018 Stawell Gift Carnival. The off-track action is headlined by Fashions on the Field which takes centre stage on Easter Saturday (March 31) with $2500 in prize money and gifts up for grabs. Easter Sunday is Cadbury® Family Day at Stawell with The Cadbury® Easter Egg Hunt headlining a fantastic schedule of child-friendly activities including an athletics clinic, an animal nursery and plenty of other organised fun for the kids.
Tickets are available at http://www.stawellgift.com/event-guide/buy-tickets/ or at the gate.
The 2018 Stawell Easter Gift runs from this Saturday March 31 – Monday April 2.
For all media enquiries, please contact: Jane Owen at 360 Sport and Entertainment on email@example.com.
Posted by Hopwood Wendy
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