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PROTRACK » GENERAL » maryborough wrap

maryborough wrap

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1 maryborough wrap on Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:14 pm

JH

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150th Maryborough Gift Meeting 1st January 2011
2011 started with the 150th staging of the Maryborough Highland Gathering at
Princess Park, Maryborough, the oldest sporting event in Australia and one steeped in
history and prestige. Over its 150 years the Maryborough Gift has thrown up many
variations, permutations, situations, consternations and the odd aberration, however it
saved another variation for this year's event. LOCUSTS!! And lots of the ugly little
creatures, which proved a handful for all concerned and provided a handy excuse for
those who tried to beat the starter's gun or pull the wool over the Chief Stewards eyes.
But despite their best efforts, the locust plague could not detract from a fantastic
meeting and some very tight racing.
70m Novice
The opening final on the program set the scene for a day of tight racing with the Nick
Fiedler trained Darren Rowland breaking his novice status by inches from Sam
Campbell, who would be ruing breaking in the final and incurring a half metre
penalty. Lauchlan Dalgleish snatched himself the last spot on the podium, although
this proved to be a warm up for him for later in the day.
70m Open
Tom Templeton off the very tight mark of 2m stormed home to win this race by the
smallest of margins, with just 17 hundredths of a sec(6 inches for the old timers)
separating the first 3 runners. The flying filly from Queensland, Melissa Howard was
2nd and the unlucky Richard Hankin from NSW was 3rd. The result was an early sign
of what was to come for the Bruce Gulliver stable and after his 2nd 70m win this
season it would appear that young Tom Templeton is growing a cotton tail and a set
of bunny ears. Tom’s winning time was 7.74.
70m Women
Not content with finishing 2nd in the Open 70m final, Melissa Howard walked back to
the 70m start and absolutely blew them away in the Women’s 70m final. With her
scintillating start working to perfection this race was over before most of the field
realised it had started, with Melissa winning in a time of 8.73 from a mark of 3.0m.
Getting up for second was the front marker Ange Wilson and third was taken out by
Sara Kersten-Murphy.

120m Veterans
Continuing the trend of close finishes, the Rob Lehmann trained Rob Lehmann
saluted in this one by a slender margin from Geoffrey Pearce, with Brendan Boyle
third. It was a classic case of the backmarker catching the fronties in the shadows of
the post and broke a string of placings for Rob this season. The winning time was
13.61 with Rob’s mark being 3.50m.
120m Novice
The Ararat teenager, Lauchlan Dalgleish, running from 7m, backed up from his third
place in the 70m novice final to break through for his first win in a time of 12.91,
although judging from the way the lad moves, I suspect it will be the first of many.
Completing a pair of seconds in the novice races on the day was Sam Campbell and in
third place Matty Wiltshire from Ballarat. This race provided the first winner for
Marcus Cooper and it is great to see another young trainer on the circuit bringing
through the next generation of runner.
120m Women’s Necklace
The classy and ultra consistent backmarker, Tamara Hammond narrowly took out the
main race for the ladies in the time of 14.72 from the mark of 3.75m. Second place
went to the interstate visitor in Samantha Sammut, with the evergreen Narelle
Lehmann running strongly for third. Sammut looked to have the race in her keeping
20m from the line, but the backmarker Hammond flew home to catch her on the line.
120m Gift
The 150th Maryborough Gift produced a quality field of runners, but it was the
tightest handicapped runner who prevailed for victory. Matt Carter, coming off his
Peninsula win in early December, and running off the very tight handicap of 2.25m
rounded up the field for a most impressive win. Ben Weaver and Richard Hankin
filled in the minor placings but it was all honours with the winner in the big one.
200m Open
The 200m Open saw the clash of the two Hargreaves boys. The John Henry trained
pair battled right to the line, running off their 10m handicaps, it was Shaun who
prevailed narrowly from Matthew in what was a great race. Holding onto third
position was the ever consistent Matthew Mifsud who is due for a victory.

300m Veterans
The vets was taken out by one of our South Australian visitor Ali Saliu. Ali pounced
on the lead half way down the straight and won the race convincingly. Running
second was Noel Maghamez who will win a vets race shortly and holding down third
was Les Williams who should also go close to winning in the coming weeks.
400m Open
The 400m again proved a great spectacle as has been the case all season.
Unfortunately, Tom Hecimovic had the misfortune of breaking down after going
around 200m. The field also had to deal with a lost shoe during the race. But after all
the carnage, it was Luke Versace who broke through for a well earnt victory. Luke
has been running for over 10 years and this was his first win. Running home for
second and third were the two backmarkers of the event Brendan Cole and Andrew
Boudrie.
400m Novice
Once again these 400m Novice races are producing some great young talent. And this
event was no different with young runner Mitchell Hocking who prevailed narrowly
over Mitchell Palmer, hanging on for third position was the young frontmarker of the
field Jessica Farrugia who gave them something to catch and did look the winner
coming around the turn.
400m Women's
The 400m was dominated in the interstaters, with South Australian runner Megan
Letton prevailing for victory from the New South Wales runner Samantha Sammut.
Finishing close up third was Celia Cosgriff. The winning time was 55.68 and Megan
ran off 40m.
800m Open
At the top of the straight it looked like it was a race between Noden and Andrews,
then the imposing figure of Arron Downes loomed large on the outside and looked to
have it won, but it was the experienced and crafty David Haigh who had the last
laugh, swooping on Downes in the very last stride to take it out in 1.51.87s off the
mark of 58m. The ‘Adonis’ Downes was 2nd in a great return to form and Phil Noden
fought back to claim 3rd.

1600m Open
The mile was a great race and it produced another good finish with Matthew
McDonough timing his run to perfection to out sprint the ever consistent Bendigo
runner Greg Hilson. Matthew recorded a winning time of 4.10 off his 115m handicap.
Running home for third was Corey Lawson who isn’t far away from saluting the
judge and also good runs from Peter Noden, Mark Andrews and David Spence.
1600m Women's/Veterans
The Womens/Vets was taken out by David Beaton, who sprinted clear on the turn to
out bustle the South Australian visitor Gaetano Aiello. Running into third position
was Leon Brooks and most of the others failed to make any impression on the race.
Locusts notes from Maryborough…..
1.Brian Marantelli produced the fastest run of the day to snatch the spare ticket to the
Highland Gathering function.
2.Chief Steward Rick Trusler was not taking the "I'm Hung over" excuse for bad runs
as was evident by the number of runners pulled in for the day.
NEXT EVENT
Our next event is the Rye Gift on Saturday 8th January 2011.

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