Dunmall shows promise ahead of semis

Date: 31st March 2013

One of the main chances in tomorrow’s Australia Post Stawell Gift provided the highlight on Family Day at Central Park, Stawell today.

In a prelude to the Gift semi-finals 19-year-old Isaac Dunmall, the $6.50 third favourite for the big race, was a classy winner of the Gift Hotel Arthur Postle Handicap 70m in 7.48s.

The Queenslander, running off 5.75m, was beaming with confidence after taking his first victory in Stawell and said there was more to come.

“It’s a pretty big deal and to do it now is good,” said the commerce student who looking ahead to tomorrow’s semi-finals fancies his chances.

“I think this gives me a bit more confidence going in towards it. Hopefully I can fix up the back end and improve on that time. I reckon 11.90 will make the final.”

Dunmall was the surprise packet after running 12.12s to be third-fastest after the heats of the Australian Post Stawell Gift and fired a warning to Mitchell Williams-Swain who takes to the start line in the same semi-final announcing “I’ve got a little bit up my sleeve.”

In other results, Martin Horne (13.75m) from New South Wales declared it was “friggin’ wonderful” to take out the Hank Neil Sportsmans Veterans’ Handicap 100m in 10.97 seconds. It was the former Stawell Gift heat winner’s first victory at Central Park 27 years after his first visit.

Olympians Tamsyn Manou (scratch) and Lauren Boden (5m) were second and third in their respective heats of the Endura Sports Nutrition Lorraine Donnan Women’s Handicap 400m and failed to progress to the final. Fashions of the Field Best Hat winner Stephanie Jinks (36m) was the fastest qualifier with 53.47s.

Manou running for the 17th and final time will still make an appearance on Australia Post Stawell Gift Finals day when she takes to the track in the semi-finals of the State of Victoria Strickland Family Women’s Gift 120m.

There was some controversy in those heats on Saturday when Davina Strauss from New South Wales, running off 14m, clocked 13.69s nearly half a second faster than the next best. Race stewards today revised her mark to 10m but the 33 year-old is still a chance to win the $2560 first prize with the next fastest Hana Basic (2.5m) recording 14.11s.

Templestowe’s Jimmie Gladman (10m) won the Fishers Boys (Under 17) Handicap 100m whilst in a tightly contested Workco Girls (Under 17) Handicap 100m Laura Bloomfield (15m) won in a blanket finish in 11.95s.

Cosomo Mucci from Williamstown running off scratch was victorious in the McDonalds Little Athletics Boys Handicap 100m with a time of 11.41s. Meanwhile the McDonalds Little Athletics Girls Handicap 100m was won by Doncaster’s Nicole Reynolds (10.25m) in a quick 12.29s.

Michael Low from Manifold Heights running off 135m hit the lead with 200m to go in the Victory Restricted 1600m and was never headed crossing first in the 4.06.01s.

Daisy Hill’s Glen Weston (310m) showed a clean pair of heels to the 52-strong field in the Women’s and Veterans’ Handicap 1600m as he shot to the lead 500m out from the finish line whilst Matt Mather (47m) of Caroline Springs won the Sportbiz 400m Series (VAL) in 46.09s.

It was double celebration for coach Mark Hipworth, who after being upgraded to legend status in the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame on Friday night watched his charge James Collier take out the WH Earle Handicap 550m. The showy Sandringham athlete running in the pink colour off 34m crossed the line in 1.10.88s with arms outstretched in jubilant celebration.

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