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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Ararat Gift - remote chance of it happening?

Ararat Gift - remote chance of it happening?

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1 Ararat Gift - remote chance of it happening? on Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:25 pm



No gift? No shock

Ararat Advertiser
10 Feb, 2012

ARARAT - The news last week that the Ararat Gift would not be run this year did not come as a shock to the region's athletes.

Most runners in the Marcus Cooper stable were aware as early as October that the event may not go ahead, however that didn't stop their disappointment as February approached.

There is still a slight chance a gift may be held in Ararat after the Victorian Athletic League approached the local athletes and asked whether they would be interested in running one themselves.

"The VAL contacted us and said are you guys interested and the group said of course we are," Cooper said.

"They all want to run at their home gift."

If the athletes do get a gift meeting up and running it won't be the first VAL carnival which is run by a stable, with the Ringwood, Northcoote, St Bernards and Wangaratta Gifts all successfully run by local competitors.

Cooper said a couple of Ararat businesses had thrown their financial support behind the bid to hold an Ararat Gift this year, however the group was yet to make a final decision.

"We're going to have to make a decision soon as to whether it goes ahead," he said.

"(Ararat) has only really been a small Gift and we would prefer to see it run as a big Gift, so there are a few things that need to change.

"There has been no novice events, 800-metre races or things like that - There is just not enough variety."

The Marcus Cooper stable has been enjoying a purple patch in the VAL season recently, capped off with all of its competitors making finals in last weekend's Avondale Heights and St Bernards (Essendon) meetings.

The Ballarat Gift carnival, beginning tomorrow, will prove a tougher challenge for the stable.

"We are all running really well, but we will just have to see how we go backing up from last weekend," Cooper said.

"It is definitely one of the big Gift meetings, but the conditions at the event are challenging. There is usually a terrible head-wind which makes things very tough."

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