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PROTRACK » GENERAL » In-form NSW sprinter to run in Stonnington Gift

In-form NSW sprinter to run in Stonnington Gift

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Stonnington Gift


In-form NSW sprinter to run in Stonnington Gift

THE Stonnington Gift’s equal-opportunity prize money has attracted “The Flash”.

NSW’s Christine Wearne won the Lithgow Gift in November to earn the honour of holding the title named after Marjorie Jackson, aka The Lithgow Flash.

The gifts at Lithgow, Queanbeyan and Stonnington all have the same cash pool for men and women.

Despite women featuring for decades in the pro-ranks, the feature gifts on the calendar at Ballarat and Stawell only have $5000 for the women whereas the men’s purse is many times that (Stawell’s first prize is $40,000).

But the imbalance is of no concern for Wearne, who on Saturday added to her hottest summer by winning the 100m at the Hunter Track Classic amateur event in Newcastle.

“I’d run it (Stonnington) no matter what the money,” a buoyant Wearne said after her latest success.

It seemed ironic that Wearne would hold such a position considering the 26year-old works in HR, which is all about equality.

On Saturday night Wearne followed up grabbing the blue-riband event by coming second to record-breaking Sophie Stanwell in the 200m.

Ringwood’s Lauren Hewitt set the mark at 24.02sec in 2002. Stanwell ran 23.94 into a 1.5-metre head wind to beat Wearne at 24.43.

While they all run off scratch in the ammos, Wearne was dragged from her 6m start at Lithgow to 1.75m before the New Year in Adelaide’s Bay Sheffield.

The antidote for Wearne to the handicapper’s curse: “I’ll just have to train harder”.
“I agree with her (hurdler Sally Pearson’s philosophy); focus, desire and belief – that’s how I approach my training,” Wearne said.

Wearne collected $7,000 of a $15,000 purse at Lithgow, whereas Stonnington’s $10,000 first prize of a $15,000 purse is the nation’s biggest winner’s cheque for a woman.

The fourth-annual Stonnington Gift will be staged on the grass of Toorak Park on February 21.

And the outfield on which they compete is to Wearne’s liking.


$10,000 first prize makes Stonnington equal biggest with Queanbeyan (but with a smaller purse).

Kudos to Queanbeyan, Stonnington and Lithgow for having equality and also Ballarat for seeking to reduce the disparity this season.  Given how many of our top girls (Breen, Hubbard, Wearne, Basic, Nelson, Coates to name a few) are active in the pros, it seems antiquated how small the women's purse is at the "classic" events.

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