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PROTRACK » Pro Running HISTORY » 60 years ago - Lance Mann causes bookies to pay out £15,000

60 years ago - Lance Mann causes bookies to pay out £15,000

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Mann hits 'books' with fine win

The Argus
Stawell Monday 15th April 1952

LANCE MANN was responsible for one of the biggest payouts by bookmakers in the Stawell Athletic Club's history when he won the final of the Stawell Gift this afternoon.

Although he won £600 only on himself, "books" paid out more than £15,000.

The final was a battle between two of the Essendon footballers, stars of last season.

Mann only defented his clubmate, Norm McDonald, by a foot, with another two feet covering the rest of the field.

Mann started at 6/4 on, with McDonald 2/1. The third placegetter, Bill Clingan of Ballarat, was 3/1; Charlie Smith of East Melbourne, fourth, at 10/1; and Doug Gardiner, of Coburg, fifth, at 20/1.

Ever since the handicaps of the Gift were released, Mann was always favorite.

It was possible to bet 4/1 about him on Friday night, and before the heats on Saturday he was 7/1, but he always headed the list.
As "dark horses" failed to come to light during the heats on Saturday, his price got shorter, and from the moment he won the last heat he was odds on.

Heavy rain last night, and a further sharp shower between the semi-finals and the final today, made the track heavy, but the time of 11 14-16 was a tribute to Mann's calibre.
He hit the front at 75 yards from Clingan, with McDonald still two yards behind.

He was challenged strongly again by Clingan afthe 100 mark, with McDonald still trailing. It was over the last 30 yards that McDonald “flew”. He passed Clingan but just failed to catch Mann

Last edited by Admin on Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:54 pm; edited 2 times in total



By Ken Moses
The Argus
Tuesday 15th April 1952

Lance Mann was the happiest man in Victoria when his color went up.

He realised that by defying his mother's wishes and going to Melbourne to play with Essendon, he had won the event. His mother, who has a farm at Walwa, did not want him to play football, because she thought he might get hurt.

Cynics said he would never make the team at Albury, but he did. When they heard he had been approached by Essendon last season they again said he would never make the grade.

His mother implored him not to go, but he went.

He played one game with the seconds, then was promoted to the firsts, and has played with them ever since.

The same cynics said he would never make a footrunner.

McDonald was the crowd's favorite for the event, and he received a great reception when he went to the start.

His run of six yards inside even time for the distance was a great effort on a heavy track. Mann ran four yards inside even time.

McDonald had lost all his money backing himself for the Bendigo Thousand, but scraped up enough to back himself for £2,000 in today's race. Despite his loss he was the first to congratulate Mann, saying "the best man won."

The semi-finals provided plenty of thrills. Clingan was easily beaten by Dolman at the 90-yd. mark, but the diminutive Ballarat runner fought back to get into the final by a yard.

Graham Fairbairn appeared to have the second semi victory when Charlie Smith came from behind to win by inches.

Only a well-judged throw for the tape got McDonald through to the final after Doug Gilbert, a rank 200/1 outsider for the final, led all the way.

Doug Gardiner was the surprise of the ties, easily putting out the well-supported Kevin Wilkinson, of Ballarat, by two yards.
Mann was never in trouble to get through.

Former amateur light-weight Victorian boxing champion, Stewart Murphy, a Deepdene dairyman, won the Two Mile Handicap after a gruelling duel with Marty Hogan over the last 600 yards. Hogan challenged him all the way, but just failed.

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