Date: 8th April 2014

The past two winners of the nation’s most famous footrace, the Australia Post Stawell Gift, will attempt to take out the iconic race for a second time when they return to Central Park this Easter.

Following the release of the official handicaps today, Andrew Robinson (2013 winner) and Matthew Wiltshire (2012 winner) face a huge task to get among the money in a 172-strong field at the 133rd Australia Post Stawell Gift.

Robinson has been pulled back 3.75m to 3.5m after taking home the $40,000 winner’s cheque last year. He will start just 0.25m behind Wiltshire who will run off 3.75m.

If either men succeed they will join just three other athletes on the honour board who have each won the Australia Post Stawell Gift twice: Bill Howard, Barry Foley and Joshua Ross.

Robinson and Wiltshire will be chased by Victorian champion Joel Bee, this year’s backmarker who will start off 0.75m. The Victorian 100m champion took fourth place at last weekend’s Australian Athletics Championships in Melbourne. He will line up against fellow finalist Jake Hammond, who will run off 1.5m.

In between the two backmarkers is Victorian Matt Carter who is running off 1.25m.

Sprint champion Melissa Breen, who will also be hoping to make history by being the first woman to make it to the semi-finals of the Australia Post Stawell Gift, has been handed the limit mark of 10m. Breen will aim to go one step further than Olympic Gold Medalist Cathy Freeman and three-time Olympian Lauren Hewitt, who both ran off 10m but failed to make it to the semi finals.

In other events, former Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist and crowd favouriteJohn Steffensen will compete in the 550m WH Earle Handicap from a mark of 3m. His nearest competitor is recent Black Opal winner Cameron Moss who will run off 16m.

Two-time World Champion Jana Pittman will make her debut back to the track following her recent participation at the Winter Olympics, when she runs off scratch in the Endura 400m Women’s Handicap. Canberra’s Lauren Wells, who recently secured her place in the 400m hurdles Commonwealth Games team, will run off 8m.

Full handicaps can be found at HERE


2014 Australia Post Stawell Gift – Backmarkers

Joel Bee                                        VIC                    0.75m
Matt Carter                                     VIC                    1.25m
Jake Hammond                              NSW                1.5m
Andrew James McCabe                QLD                  2.0m
Jordan Caldow                              SA                     2.5m
Alex Carew                                     VIC                    3.0m
Lee Forrest                                     VIC                    3.0m
Luke Stevens                                 VIC                    3.5m
Nathan Riali                                    VIC                    3.5m
Andrew Robinson                           TAS                   3.5m
Gary Finegan                                  NSW                 3.5m

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