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PROTRACK » GENERAL » 18 year old favourite wins 142nd New Year Sprint

18 year old favourite wins 142nd New Year Sprint

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142nd New Year Sprint Report

Short odds favourite 17 year old Martyn Patterson of Clackmannan clinched a dramatic victory in the final of the 142nd staging of the New Year Sprint that was held on 31 December 2010 and 1 January 2011 at Musselburgh Racecourse.

Patterson narrowly beat Fiona Cleat of Edinburgh AC who was aiming to be the first ever female winner of open athletic's blue riband sprint event.

However, it was touch and ago whether the Sprint meeting would go ahead as planned as the lingering arctic conditions saw the track under 3 feet over snow with less than a week to go. Miraculously, with time running out fast, heavy rain washed the snow away, leaving the track fit for running. The racecourse authorities, however, surprisingly decided the ground was too firm for the horses so, for the second year in succession, the New Year Sprint went ahead without the accompanying National Hunt meeting.

Patterson was one of 3 long odds favourites at 3/1 before the running of the heats. He was surprisingly beaten in his heat, but stamped his authority on the cross-ties winning impressively in comfortably the fastest time.

The heats set the scene for a competitive Sprint final with no one runner standing out. Whilst a dominating figure may have been absent, a consistently high standard of sprinting was on view throughout the heats.

Going was soft underfoot both days. A slight headwind in the first day of racing changed to a following breeze the next day.

Last edited by Admin on Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:14 pm; edited 1 time in total


New Year Sprint Cross-Ties
In what was probably a first, two pairs of siblings contested the New Year Sprint cross-ties: Fiona and Duncan Cleat, Steven and Ryan Charters.

The photo-finish equipment was called on in the first race of the (second) day with both Duncan Cleat and Craig Grieve appearing to cross the line together. The verdict eventually went to Cleat. Ryan Charters was a foot down in third in what was a hotly contested race of real quality. Francis Smith beat Leigh Marshall into fourth spot. The winning time was 11.98 secs - the second fastest of the cross-ties.

Martyn Patterson took the second cross-tie with unexpected ease from Sebastian Harrison with a metre and a half to spare. Steven Charters was a further 2 metres back. Craig Fleming and Jack Beattie were non-runners. Patterson's winning time of 11.74 secs drew gasps from the crowd. The time was not bettered all day.

A nail-biting tussle between Cameron Smith and Greg Turnbull required the photo-finish equipment to separate the runners. Victory went to Smith in what was the slowest of the cross-ties (12.31 secs). David Allan was 2 meters back in third with Wiliam Bates in fourth. Ross Borthwick was a non-runner.

The eagerly awaited fourth cross-tie saw Fiona Cleat, who was fastest up in the heats, in action. Fiona carried on from where she left off the day before, running fluently from the front and never looking like being caught. David Brand was the best of the rest, and though he was beaten 3 metres, he was closing the gap quickly near the end of the race. Over a metre behind Brand, Tony Daffurn edged out Iskan Barskanmay for third position. David Rae was a non-runner.

New Year Sprint Final
As the start time for the final approached, the bookmakers had Martyn Patterson the clear, odds on favourite at 4/5. Seb Harrison was the betting public's second favourite at 2/1 with Fiona Cleat available at 3/1. Cameron Grieve's odds were 5/1 with the rest of the field at 8/1.

As the gun went all the runners rose as one with no advantage being gained. The echelon held for half the race with Fiona Cleat steaming along in the lead. Then Martyn Patterson caught the eye as he started to pull away from the pack of 5 runners who started on similar marks. As the line approached Fiona's running seemed to lose some of its smooth rhythm and Patterson appeared to sense victory was possible. Sebastian Harrison running "blind" in the inside lane started to show. Patterson managed to pull back Fiona just before the finish line, winning in 11.91 secs. Fiona held on to second place by a whisker in 11.99 secs with Harrison third in 12.01 secs. Cameron Smith was a clear fourth in 12.19 secs ahead of Ryan Charters (12.32 secs) and Craig Grieve (12.33 secs) in sixth place. Seventh was Duncan Cleat in 12.38 secs and eighth was Greg Turnbull in 12.39 secs. (Times quoted for the final are electronic.)

Last edited by Admin on Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:13 pm; edited 1 time in total



Teenager races to New Year win

The Scotsman
03 January 2011

IT was disappointing that no one from the Scottish Athletics hierarchy interrupted the Festive season to look in at the 142nd New Year Sprint, at Musselburgh Racecourse on Saturday.

Had they done so they would surely have been encouraged by the quality of the young athlete it attracted.

Five of the eight finalists were teenagers, including the three medallists, the oldest of whom was the winner Martyn Paterson, who only turned 18 last Friday, while, in the youths' events, some startling talent emerged, the most notable of whom was 11-year-old Kingsley Cunningham, a primary seven pupil at Stockbridge in Edinburgh, of Nigerian stock of whom much, much more will be heard.

In fairness, only the hardiest of the hardcore supporters, probably fewer than 200, braved the bitter chill of a second day which was robbed by the weather of its scheduled partner, the National Hunt horserace meeting.

Had that meeting gone ahead, then there would have been a bumper crowd to give the athletes the kind of support they deserved.

Those who did come along saw the 4-6 favourite Paterson (Clackmannan) come through from his handicap start of 6.5 metres to claim the £4,000 first prize in 11.91 seconds, the official electronic time as opposed to the hand times announced initially for the cross-ties.

Paterson surged past the 17-year-old front-runner Fiona Cleat (Edinburgh, 22m) in the final ten metres of the 110m handicap, to prevent a first female triumph in the historic race, with another 17-year-old, Sebastian Harrison (Jedburgh 7.75m) clinching third place.

Paterson is coached by the Kirkcaldy-based former Edinburgh headteacher Eric Simpson and they both have their sights on greater things:

"Now I want to go on and represent Scotland in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow," said the Central AC member, a second year Stirling University accountancy student.

Simpson, who also coaches the Scottish high hurdles and former 400m hurdles and 200m champion Francis Smith, a promising 16-year-old hurdler Ewan Dyer and the sprinter Hope Robertson, believes that at least three of them could make the team for 2014.

"We've got a good group and Martyn's worked very hard for this, he's put in a lot of mileage travelling to train with us five days a week at Pitreavie."

Paterson had nearly gone out on the first day, going through only as a fastest loser, but he certainly made the most of his second chance the next day:

"I was a different athlete, it was such a turnaround."

With the backmarker Craig Fleming (Greenock) pulling out, Paterson won his cross-tie in brilliant style in 11.99 secs into a headwind. But Cleat, a Scottish internationalist at 400m hurdles, also impressed, holding her form to win her cross-tie in 12.13 secs, the second fastest of the four ties.

Paterson responded to the threat and went even faster in the final, catching Cleat with a powerful surge, with Cleat timed at 11.99 and Harrison 12.01.

There was one female victory on the final day when the 48-year-old Wendy Nicol (Dunfermline), mother of Scotland's Commonwealth Games 400m runner Gemma, captured the consolation 90m handicap and a first prize of £300. Nicol just held off the 60m winner Ross McGill (Kilbarchan) in a time of 10.21 secs from a handicapped start of 25m.



Billy (The King) McColm, the borders most famous pro games punter.

Who’s your pick? Runners set to take their marks for big race

The Southern Reporter
Published on Thu Dec 30 2010

Athletes, coaches, handicappers, bookies and punters – all part and parcel of professional running.

So, with the biggest event on the open athletic calendar coming up with the staging of the New Year sprint handicap at Musselburgh Racecourse tomorrow and Saturday, TheSouthern has tracked down an individual from each group and found out their views on who would do well in the £4,000 sprint, as well as selecting a winner.

Trained by his grandfather Charlie Russell, a top coach on the Scottish Games scene, Selkirk teenager Marc Cockburn won the Morebattle Games 110m handicap in fine style in August.

He told us: “Going by what I saw at the games during the summer, Jordan Maxwell could win the New Year sprint.

“He was second in the final of the Jedburgh Games 110m, when he was beaten in a photo-finish by Amy Clancy.

“It was a really close race, and Maxwell wasn’t far away from winning the biggest race on the summer games circuit.

“Maxwell comes from a good running school in Hawick, and I can see him doing well at Musselburgh.

“Leigh Marshall, who is in the same school as Maxwell, has a chance to win too, even although he has won it before.

“There are a good few Borders runners in the sprint – Seb Harrison, Iskan Barskanmay and Greg Turnbull – and they will all be worth watching.”

SELECTION – Jordan Maxwell (Langholm).

Former runner Brian ‘Chico’ Woods is now coach of successful running school Tweed Leader Jed Track.

He said: “The sprint is wide open this year and is tightly handicapped.

“I expect Leigh Marshall to run well. He won the sprint two years ago, a clear winner, and he knows what it is all about.

“There are a few other runners I could mention like Marc Cockburn, who showed up well when he won the Morebattle Games sprint, but nobody really springs out for me.

“However, I would like to think that the winner could come from my own school.

“I am not being big-headed or bumptious in saying this, but I honestly think Iskan Barskanmay and Seb Harrison are both in with a great chance.

“Like other schools, there have been problems for training due to the snow, but there has been a lot of clearing of the white stuff done to allow some training to go ahead, and the pair of them are fully fit.

“There is little separating them, and both of them are going for it.”

SELECTION – Iskan Barskanmay or Seb Harrison (both Jedburgh).

Held in high regard in pro running, former athlete Ernie Blair has a vast knowledge of the sport.

He told TheSouthern: “There are a few runners that catch my eye, but I can’t go past Iskan Barskanmay.

“He is strong and powerful, has the right attitude and his coach ‘Chico’ Woods will have him well prepared.

“He was disappointed not to win the sprint a year ago, and will be wanting to make up for that.

“Greg Turnbull is in the same mould as Barskanmay, and will show up well, but is one-and-a-half metres worse off in the handicap – and that is a lot.

“I also expect something from Leigh Marshall, who won the sprint two years ago. I have heard that he has been injured, but there are always rumours going about. If fit, Marshall should do okay.

“Seb Harrison looked good when winning the Hawick Games sprint in the summer. He is a promising youngster and it will be interesting to see how he has developed since then.

“There have been a lot of whispers about a lady runner, Gillian Cook, being in with a chance. Apart from hearing she is a very decent amateur, I don’t know much about her.”

SELECTION – Iskan Barskanmay (Jedburgh).

A well-known figure at Borders running and flapping tracks is Fife bookmaker Archie Affleck, who goes under the name of Archie Scott in the betting world.

He said: “Iskan Barskanmay and Greg Turnbull are both in with a chance.

“They both reached the final last year, but were so busy battling it out with each other that they missed out to Daniel Paxton who won the race.

“I have a fancy for Sean Harris to do well. He didn’t run much in the Borders during the summer, but was fourth in the British 90m championship at Langholm Games.

“Harris won a few handicaps in the Fife area, and is a good runner.

“Although he is more of a quarter-miler than a sprinter, Martyn Paterson is well worth looking out for.

“I have seen him training recently, and he is shaping up well, but will have to improve on his block work.

“There are a good few others that will show up well, such as Leigh Marshall and Steven Charters, but I am going for Seb Harrison.

“I liked the way he won the Hawick Games sprint in June. Since then he didn’t do much, but he is a classy young runner.

“He will have been well trained by coach ‘Chico’ Woods, and he could do well.”

SELECTION – Seb Harrison (Jedburgh).

Well known for his passion for open athletics, as well as his love for a bet, Billy ‘King’ McColm is a colourful character to say the least.

He told us: “Leigh Marshall, Iskan Barskanmay and Greg Turnbull have to be fancied, and Jordan Maxwell can’t be ruled out either. Ross Borthwick showed up well when winning his heat in the sprint a year ago, and I feel he could have improved since then.

“Although a lady has never won the sprint, Lee Gillie could prove to be a dark horse, but the conditions might not suit her.

“‘Chico’ Woods has a knack of producing good youngsters. Seb Harrison is one of them, and he could be there or thereabouts.

“In the final of the Jedburgh Games sprint this year, I was very impressed with the running of Martyn Paterson.

“He came in third, but looked the part, even although going from a standing start.

“The handicapper has given him a decent mark, and Paterson has the look of a winner. He is my main man, but I will probably have other bets as well.

“That’s if I can get a bet on, for the bookies get a fright when they see me, so they might run away.”

SELECTION – Martyn Paterson (Clackmannan).

Good pick by the King! Sounds like he might have made a quid.....

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