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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Tas. Christmas Carnivals - 4 Top stables confirmed

Tas. Christmas Carnivals - 4 Top stables confirmed

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Four top running stables sign for carnivals
Burnie Advocate
19 Nov, 2011

FOUR of the country's top running stables have confirmed they will send runners to this year's Basslink Christmas Carnivals Series.

This summer's carnivals are building up to be one of the most hotly contested in recent memory and organisers said there was still more good news on the way.

Carnival regular John Henry will be joined by fellow nationally renowned coaches Matt Beckenham, Paul Young and former Burnie Gift winner Mark Hipworth in bringing athletes to the carnivals.

"Congratulations must go to SCAT (Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania) for their efforts in attracting a high quality field of runners this year," Henry said yesterday.

"They have managed to grab four of the top national stables, which is a big achievement and will make for some fantastic racing throughout the series."

Henry, who was named National Trainer of the Year last season, will bring with him nine runners, including Matt Hargreaves, who took out the Victorian and National Sprinter of the Year titles last season, along with his brothers Chris and Shaun.

National Female Sprinter of the Year Laura Jane Hilditch will also make the trip over and will add to a strong contingent of female runners.

"They all train hard, race hard and play hard," Henry said.

"They are fit and ready to race, so the rest is in the lap of the gods."

Hipworth, who is a middle distance trainer and himself won the Burnie Gift in 1984, will return to the carnivals after nearly a decade.

"The Tasmanian Carnival scene really looks like it's picking up," he said.

"While we have some very strong middle distance runners, there is certainly an overlap in the 400m and 800m and we'll certainly give the other competitors a run for their money."

Hipworth's runners include 800m national champion Justin Rinaldi, renowned 400m runner Simon Fitzpatrick and strong contender Stephanie Mollica.

With more runners still to be confirmed, SCAT athlete coordinator Rod Walker said it was exciting times for organisers.

"This is certainly going to be one of the strongest running fields we've had in a long time, from the back markers to the front markers," he said.

"We have a strong quality and quantity of runners."

This year's Basslink Christmas Carnivals Series starts with Rosebery on December 17, followed by Latrobe (December 27), Launceston (December 28), Devonport (December 29, 30), Burnie (January 1), Hobart (January 8.) and St Helens (January 21).

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