Powell still favourite with the punters

Date: 30th March 2013

Former world record holder Asafa Powell remains a narrow favourite for Australia’s richest and most famous footrace ahead of the heats of the 2013 Australia Post Stawell Gift later today.

The Jamaican will create history as the fastest man ever to grace the track at Central Park and after a training session on the manicured grass in Stawell on arrival late yesterday to familiarise himself with the environment and the much talked about lane ropes and finish gates, declared he was ready to race.

Powell settled into short odds with the opening of markets during the week and following the traditional Calcutta and Call of the Cards at the Stawell Entertainment Centre last night, holds onto his position as the favourite for Monday’s final at $5.

The 30-year-old, in heat 11, will have to make up 7.5m to his nearest competitor, with two runners on the limit-mark of 12m.

West Footscray’s Augustine Carty-Cowling (10m) has remained at a steady $5.50 over the past 24 hours, whilst one of the biggest movers, Shane Woodrow of Ballarat (12m), moved in from $15 to $5.50 throughout the course of the evening.

Attempting to become the first man in history to win the Australia Post Stawell Gift on three occasions, current 100m national champion Joshua Ross (1m) is currently paying a generous $17 despite his confidence in becoming ‘a living legend’.

Other favoured runners include Edward Ware in Heat 16 off 10.25m ($13), former Jamaican bobsledder Khan Marr Heat 17 off 5.25m ($11) and AFL umpire Adam Coote Heat 18 off 11m ($15).

Last year’s victor, Matt Wiltshire (Heat 19 off 5.5m) is at long-odds of $51 to make it back-to-back victories, whilst some interest has been shown for two past winners from Queensland 2011 winner Mitchell Williams-Swain (Heat 16 – 4.5m) at $15 and 2009 winner Aaron Stubbs (Heat 18 – 5.25m) at $13.

All the action begins at 9.30am today with the Australia Post Stawell Gift heats commencing at 1.00pm.

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