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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Ballarat Gift

Ballarat Gift

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Who wins Ballarat?

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Total Votes : 96

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31 Re: Ballarat Gift on Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:00 pm

racingmania


If it was based on best career run, Andrew Robinson would have them covered. So would B Matthews, Vine and Greenough. Robbo ran 11.85 raw at Stawell off 7.25 and is back 4m. Puts him around 12.3 or better. Mathews has a 10.6 PB.

I think most recent performances are best guide and Stevens from Albury, Houlihan & Eschebach from the Bay/Maryborogh are best chances..

32 Re: Ballarat Gift on Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:08 pm

auspro


So you agree CIW is not running in same form as 10months ago? But would see him moved forward so he is competative off a sub-par bay shef run?
....CIW aside.

out of the 3 fronties with votes. what will they run this weekend?

33 Re: Ballarat Gift on Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:16 pm

Lewie


Last thing on the 70 as I was called out. Fact is handicapping for the 70m has been lazy this season for interstaters. Look at Jake Ryder from Maryborough and Daylesford. Look at Houlihan at Albury. Go and defend your SA boys all you want. Fact is it's lazy handicapping. My tip for the gift is Eschebach.

34 Re: Ballarat Gift on Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:33 pm

youngy

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Good work auspro & racingmania. Enjoying the banter about Ballarat.
 
I might have to retract some of my commentary from the other day. After looking through the field in more detail there are two elements which I probably had not taken into account.
 
1. The standard of the field. In my view it does not appear to be a strong Ballarat Gift list of entries. The likes of Riali, Jamieson, Spencer, Carty-Cowling plus several others from the semis all running well and off good marks in 2014, does not appear to be the same level in 2015. 
 
2. I admit I got caught up in comparing one athlete to a few others and not the whole field. Something we probably all do too often. My assessment is CIW will struggle at the marks against about 6 to 8 (say 15%) athletes in this field, but then fairs pretty well against the other 85%. So he has a chance to make the final. 
 
Looking at the most recent Gift results.
 
Bay Sheffield - obviously Luke Houlihan (-0.25) & Chris Innes-Wong (-0.75).
 
Maryborough - Tim Eschebach, who also ran well in the semi at the Bay Sheffield.
 
St Albans - Nick Magree, Peter Dudkiewicz, Ed Ware
 
Rye - Mark Hignett, Dale Lyons who were 2nd & 3rd respectively.
 
Albury - Luke Stevens who was 3rd behind Craig Mair (back 2m) and Daniel Steinhauser (not entered for Ballarat). Brendan Matthews.
 
Others who have showed up at these meets include - Marcus Cooper, Ryan McNamara, Brady Lehmann, Matt Harvey & Cam Dunbar. Shane Woodrow must be a good chance being a Ballarat lad.
 
It is a fairly open Gift. My preference would be for someone new to open his account with a major Gift or someone like a Luke Stevens who has gone back in the marks after winning a major.



Last edited by youngy on Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:54 pm; edited 1 time in total


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35 Re: Ballarat Gift on Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:44 pm

OldandSlow


I think the front markers may just get gobbled up if some of the names mentioned above decided to have a major crack. However there are still some front markers with some handy marks that pose a threat. Hignett, Lehmann, Harvey, Lyons to just name a few have a fair degree of speed to unleash if they pull it together on the day. Not too sure why all the votes are coming for KNOTT / PHELAN or MAGREE / DUDKIEWICZ... maybe some are more in the know than the rest of us.

36 Re: Ballarat Gift on Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:49 pm

Mex

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There has been a lot of talk about the 70m marks and yes they have been a little inconsistent for some athletes, but the same could be said for gift runners who have received the larger sized lifts this season. For me, I am not worried about who wins the 70m when we are voting on the gift. With over 1800 hits on this thread and 79 votes, it is clear that there are a number of interested parties for one of the richest gifts on the calendar.
Great banter about guys with previous form. If everyone ran to their best then the handicapper would have an easy job but the nature of our game is to get under the guard of the handicapper.
The most interesting thing about Ballarat is sometimes not what you see, but what you don't. I hope Youngy posts all of the gift heats again. Watch closely for the couple of fluffy tails creeping out the back of the lycra.

Chances according to the poll include;

Reece La Haye 7m / Luke Houlihan 7.25m (10 votes) - thanks to the many posts it seems that the voting here is for Houlihan and some think he is the man. And why not, should run somewhere around 12.5 which was last year's winning time of 12.46. Huge chance.

Nick Magree 10.25m / Peter Dudkiewicz 10.5m (10 votes) - Magree has run sparingly this year. St Albans showed he was moving well on a difficult track. Don't know if he is going well enough to win here, I would think a semi at best. Dudkiewicz is an interesting athlete. He looks fit and ready to take out a gift. Is Ballarat too rich for him? The standard in the final will be of high quality, but he may have a better than even chance of the win should he make it as we tend to see some just missing out. (see last year's final with Jamieson, Carty-Cowling and Spencer all going well enough to win but waiting their time). Would not be surprised to see him on the podium.

Peter Knott 11m / Leigh Phelan 11m (10 votes) - Knott has shown a great transition to the shorter form but this would seem out of reach at the moment. I cannot see him beating Hignett who is only .5m behind him. Phelan may have a crack here, but again, if the big boys fire the way they usually do when the big gifts are on he will have to be at his absolute best just to make the final. I think it is a little out of reach.

Other chances include Spencer who has run sparingly and probably should have made the Stawell Gift Final last year if he had not run a time at Bendigo. If he does not win or go very close, he may think he can feature at Easter. Stevens coming from the back mark will go close. I am thinking with his huge improvements that he could be our back marker in the biggest race of the season, but is a huge chance of the final. Vine, Eschebach, CIW, Lyons, Ware, Moss and Jackson should all make the semi's, again watch Youngy's videos to see what they are up to when they don't win. Stuart Rooke intrigues me and I am waiting for him to let loose. Hignett may have the form back this season to do some damage here. And don't forget Whittaker!

I think this has the makings of a great final and with Keilor and Stonnington around the corner as well, the main chances will be set for the next few weeks.

Good luck

37 Re: Ballarat Gift on Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:17 pm

youngy

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Sorry Mex, I won't be at Ballarat due to family commitments. Therefore we will have to rely on someone else to film the Gift.


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38 Re: Ballarat Gift on Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:57 am

Mex

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Thanks Youngy, I guess I wont come and sit with you then Wink hopefully someone does film the heats and makes them available.

39 Re: Ballarat Gift on Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:44 pm

Mex

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After a fresh morning, it has fined up to set the table for what should be a great gift final. Harvey has looked good all weekend and is my tip for the final with Mair and Whittaker to fight it out for the other placings and Rooke to follow after them. Not sure Eschebach or CIW will do more than try and look good towards the end of the race. Happy to be proved wrong but think there may be a hint of a fluffy tail if you look closely.

40 Re: Ballarat Gift on Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:22 pm

Mex

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I really nailed that one hey. Well done to Mair. Moving very well, could he pinched the vets at Stawell as well?

41 Re: Ballarat Gift on Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:32 pm

youngy

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Appreciate the enthusiasm you bring with your contributions, Mex. You are not in the loop so you are free to speculate but I can assure you Chris IW & I pretty devastated by missing the Ballarat Gift by 1/2 a metre. 

The results clearly indicate Chris & Tim Eschebach are not Easter bunnies. They've had their crack at Stawell & the Bay and are now working their way through the major Gifts to pick up one. They're in career best shape & hopefully it won't be too far away.


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42 Re: Ballarat Gift on Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:59 pm

auspro


Hit the nail on the head youngy, great enthusiasm mex but definitely i think you have the easter bunnies wrong?? Both CIW and TE ran pbs or close enough to them. Like i said before. Handicapped to run 1244 and 1246. And both ran a touch under perhaps on a good track? 2 interstate runners giving victorians a head start once again.....

43 Re: Ballarat Gift on Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:35 pm

sprintstar


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Looks like CIW's mark was fine Youngy Cool In fact SA faired quite well across the weekend!

44 Re: Ballarat Gift on Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:00 pm

youngy

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No problem & point taken Sprintstar....but he (as did TE) ran better than he ever had before, which is what one SHOULD need to do to win a Classic Gift. 

As I said before the event & my opinion has not changed; I'm still firmly of the view that there were at least 6 athletes in this field that were handicapped to run faster than CIW. But for whatever reason....didn't. 

Question is was this Ballarat Gift as strong as in recent years? It appears not a lot ran up to their very best....

Sometimes the athlete rises to the challenge, vindicates the handicapper & makes him look a genius.


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45 Re: Ballarat Gift on Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:34 am

youngy

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I've got to hand it to Craig Mair, this result at Ballarat is quite remarkable. Earlier this morning I checked a number of meets in the last two years and  could not find one run off the 14.0m prior to Albury. He had 14.0m all last season but did not run off the mark. I assume he was injured as he scratched from just about every meet from Northcote 2013 (5th off 11.50m in 11.09s) through to Easter. He was entering vets races so he is obviously over 35. He ran at Stawell in the Vets 100m and only managed 11.6 off 6.25m. To put that in perspective Mark Hignett ran 11.39 off 1.75m. 

He must have had a massive pre-season because he has clearly improved substantially on last year. He also hasn't held back any form in lead up races. He bided his time & waited until he got to Albury before having a crack. He didn't win Albury by that big a margin to suggest he could win Ballarat off 12m. 

Despite the disappointment of being associated with the runner up, Craig Mair ran superbly & way above what was expected and was too good. 


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46 Re: Ballarat Gift on Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:50 am

oldman


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Unbelievable effort - 2 x classic gifts in two weeks. Copped the 2m handicap pull for the first one and came back and won a bigger one the next week. Brilliant stuff, well done to the stable.

47 Re: Ballarat Gift on Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:07 am

Phantom

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Incredible run by Craig and very much deserved. He has obviously worked his freckle off to get into the shape he is and is reaping the rewards.

48 Re: Ballarat Gift on Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:05 pm

auspro


Mair obviously in exeptional form, even on the day to save his best run until the final (which is the only way to win as a veteran!)
Im interested to hear opinions on all runners however, as youngy pointed out many not running to potential.

Whittaker - 1268. 1256. 1246. i think ran his race 12.45 to 12.50 is where he's been at when it counts

Mair - 1259. 1248. 1236 goes without saying

Harvey - 1252. 1244. 1252 on a great mark. Obvious favourite after semis. Loses nearly 1m in final? looks more like fatigue rather then anything else. Will manage to stay fatigued for a few more weeks and if he gets his best run in final, Should be favourite at stonnington

Hignett - 1255. 1256. 1268 hc to run around 1250 and like harvey, Has a great mark and probably needed to save his best for last to win. didnt look like he left anything on the track

Rooke - 1250. 1260. 12.48. Looked controlled down track. Obviously ran an easier semi (off times) beating Ware. Off a bigger mark than his 120m Restricted win, 1265 off 8.25 at maryborough. Times and results a bit up and down. Not sure what he is Handicapped to run?

Ware. - HC to run 12.27 (from his 12.04 off 10.25m at stawell) ran 1256. 1264. 1248. I think the most ineresting thing is the 70m comparison. EW starts in the 70m off 3.25m against SRs 3.5m, TEs 4.75m and CIWs 6.25m..... and ware is behind at the 70m mark? To put that in perspective. Its like running EW off 7m in the 70m right? So where did the 4m go?

innes wong - HC to run 1244. ran 1259. 1251. 1241. Times Would suggest he ran a pb and looked very strong towards the end in the final.

Eschebach - HC to run 1246. Ran 1252. 1251. 1242. Similar to CIW. Both looking strong against fading runners towards the end. Saved his best run for the final

all round an entertaining race though! creating lots of drama as to be expected

49 Re: Ballarat Gift on Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:20 pm

chopper


When was the last time someone winning a classic gift came 4th in his heat.
With a plus 1.1 the frontmarker winner was caught by three others - all of whom were also in the final. To make the semis it was first 2 and the next 8 fastest
In the final wind reading 0.0 the best the three who beat the winner in the heats could do was a 3rd placing

50 Re: Ballarat Gift on Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:34 pm

OldandSlow


Firstly great run by 'Mair' .

I think he was truly surprised to have run so fast after being pulled 2m the week earlier.  Youngy - he has had a pretty bad run of injuries I believe over the past year or so and obviously managed to pull it all together this season.

QUESTION: He's already done the unbelievable but can he now do the impossible?  Can the veteran break more records and hearts by making it 3 wins in a row? At a guess he'll go back another 2m to 10m so the maths tells you very, very unlikely...but what a story it would be.

#mairfor3wins   Laughing

51 Re: Ballarat Gift on Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:19 pm

oldman


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#Mairfor3peat!

52 Re: Ballarat Gift on Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:42 pm

airtight

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Great run by Craig Mair. Let's face it he was never a great athlete who has won off tight marks before and crept back out to a bigger handicap. 12 was about the minimum he needs to be a chance in a small gift. He has worked his butt off to get in the shape of his life.
Let's not ignore the elephant in the room. A few athletes didn't seem too interested. It was an Easter bunny plague in the heats and semis.

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