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PROTRACK » GENERAL » “TAL Handicapper laments poor ‘handicapping’ performance”

“TAL Handicapper laments poor ‘handicapping’ performance”

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ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star
“TAL Handicapper laments poor ‘handicapping’ performance”

Local supporters had much to celebrate yesterday as Tasmanian runners Mark Nichols and Sam ‘Ferg Burger’ Ferguson dominated the middle and long distance racers at Recreation Reserve, La Trobe.

In the Advocate Newspaper Mens 400m Handicap, Nichols heat performance was so impressive that he had a chance to turn around down the homestraight and wave to his mum in the crowd. Another notable heat performance came from Brendan Cole who strolled down the backstraight making the final in a time slower than his 400m Hurdles time.

The final on the circular track left was less exciting than the sprinkles served in the Mr Whippy van. Cole, rumoured to have a girl in every port, had other things on his mind (especially tomorrow’s $5000 Devonport 400m), making little attempt to catch the frontrunner and instead enjoying the sights and sounds of the woodchopping on the back straight. Last year’s winner of this race, Nichols, cruised to the lead and never looked back, with time to salute the crowd the send a kiss to the distance handicapper. After winning off the same mark with which he won this event last year, Nichols said “I look forward to winning this event off the same mark again next year”

The sight of two cyclists being carried off the velodrome with broken noses was almost as bad the $4000 1600m race. Controversy over Sam Ferguson’s handicap rippled over the local La Trobe crowd with bookies offering lower odds than Black Caviar got at the Dederang Cup. DizzyRunner kept a close eye on Ferguson and felt that for the 200m that he actually tried, he looked quite good. Strategically it was a perfect race with his 4.04 time comfortable enough that he is ideally poised to win the perfect quadrella, all the miles and 800ms over the xmas carnivals. In fairness Ferguson should be congratulated for emulating the great John Landy, courageously going back and collecting five struggling interstaters, still complaining about their handicaps, and dragging them to the front of the field before taking off again. In form TAL Runner Alec Thomas ran admirably, suffering only when stuck in the wake caused by Ferguson’s kick in the last 150m.

Said one runner after his mid-field result, “I should have gone to Bay-Shef, at least the water is nice there”.

A review of the handicapper’s performance is due in 2018 after concerns other local runners were not looked after in the same manner as Ferguson.

Stay tuned for a review of the Devonport Mile tomorrow evening where there is as much chance of an interstater finishing in the top 5 as getting phone coverage on the Optus network in Tasmania.

Reporter: DizzyRunner.

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