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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Bendigo Opal

Bendigo Opal

Who wins the Opal

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Total Votes : 94

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1 Bendigo Opal on Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:05 pm

Mex

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By popular demand (is 1 popular). Always a great spectacle and with a number of chances showing some form with three of the bigger 400m races remaining. Who do people like? I would not be surprised to see a former winner go very close.

2 Re: Bendigo Opal on Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:34 pm

Mex

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This race is very intriguing, Bendigo Opal, Ringwood Gift and Stawell. Many would happily take one of these. I am not sure which one I would take out of Bendigo and Stawell as both are fantastic races. I would have each of these above Ringwood though. I am looking forward to a few things in this race, let's start with the poll results and then maybe some observations.

Hamish Adams 27m / Aaron Pooley 27m - Hamish Adams is a young guy who is going to be hard to beat. The voting for him is probably very accurate. I have not seen him run a complete race this season. He has made multiple 300m and 400m finals so far this season. My memory seems to recall him winning sprint races last season which indicates to me that he has some speed early which he has not really shown yet and we have seen him finish strongly. I think the votes are for him. Pooley received a NAP at Trinity, suggesting he is either waiting or not ready yet. I think the later.

James Deane 31m / Robert Keenan 31m - The man with the Hollywood name and the Hollywood looks may find the pace a bit too much this week. He has shown in the past a willingness to take some smaller races. If head to head with Keenan in the final I do not think he will take him. Keenan is the winner of multiple 550m and 800m races this season. Was the favourite for the Camden Classic and ran on to 4th. Has been a massive improver since moving to the man who taught Versace how to win again. Armstrong could add to his impressive coaching CV this weekend.

Tim Rosen 40m / Glenn Stephens 40m - Rosen does not have what it takes to win the Bendigo Opal. His 400m race needs some work, if he does run, watch for him to blow up. He does have potentially a good mark in the 400m though. Stephens is about 4m up on his winning mark in the Opal from a few years ago, but he is also a few years older. Was it the early 2000's when he won? We could possible see him hang on for a while only to be swamped on the line. Not many athletes have been able to win the opal that many years apart. Not many athletes were able to wear a skull and cross bone body suit either.

Other observations from this season.

Luke Stevens 0m - Won the Vic title last week beating home Baird and Douglas by flying home. Judging by the reports, we have already seen this from him at Rye. Celebrating before the line and still winning by some. The only problem for Stevens is the traffic. If he can negotiate this, he is a huge chance. Winning mark at Rye was 6m, won by 2m essentially only 4m back from his mark, meets everyone slightly better off. He is great for our sport and I hope he makes it through to the final as that will be a huge spectacle.

William Kerr 34m - Kerr's run at Trinity was an interesting one. It looked like he had a lot more to give. Must get to Stephens, the older one, relatively early as Stephens will not be able to match him for speed if running side by side. He will find himself in clear air at around the 200m mark and the only question for me is can he hold off Keenan, Adams and Luke Stevens on the line? 

Ian Douglas 2m - Placed behind Stevens in the Vic's. Starting 2m in front should put him somewhere near the same time as Stevens. I am not sure that he runs the same way when he has traffic to negotiate though. Would make for an interesting final should he and Stevens get through as it would almost be 2 races in one. The back markers chasing the others.

Can't wait for this weekend as every race has the potential to be amazing. Good luck.

3 Re: Bendigo Opal on Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:44 am

Ribera

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Good write up Mex. Here is a some history to add to the mix.

The Bendigo 400m was always regarded as a big time event, generally 2nd behind Stawell, with $2000 first prize in the late 90's. The honour roll up to 2001 included;
1998 - Tim Mason (32m) 44.39
1999 - David Haigh (26m) 45.44
2000 - Anthony Grima (26m) 45.77

In 2001 the event was named the Bendigo Black Opal with an advertised total prize pool of around $20,000 (8 or 10 thousand for first plus a black opal worth $6000).
The event is now worth $6000 plus black opal.

Black Opal honour roll including leadup run.

2014 – Cam Moss (15m) 46.37 – (field back 8m) – 4th Ballarat backies
2013 – Sam Baird (17m) 45.67 - (field back 3m) – 2nd Ballarat backies
2012 – Josh Mather (9m) 47.75 – (field back 10m) – 4th Ballarat backies
2011 – Brendan Matthews (16m) 46.07
2010 – Adam Coote (31m) 48.05 (the wet year) (field lifted 2m for Wroe) - was run out of the 400m heats at Maryborough, Daylesford and Keilor.
2009 – Ashley Grant (26m) 45.56 - 4th Keilor off 25m.
2008 – Glenn Stephens (34m) 45.59 - 2nd at Burramine the week before.
2007 – Nick Magree (31m) 45.40 – 3rd Ballarat backies.
2006 – Tommy Neim (32m) 44.76 - 4th at Keilor.
2005 – Craig Mair (40m) 45.89 – no 400m leadup form. 1st 2004 Stawell 400m fronties.
2004 – Justin O'Brien (26m) 46.99 - 4th at Keilor. Got a 2m lift for Bendigo.
2003 – Duncan Tippins (12m) 45.60 - 2nd in the Camden classic off 15m.
2002 – Robert Halge (40m) 45.12 - (field lifted 4m for Paul Pearce) - In lead up races he fell over in the straight in the Sandringham 400m in early Feb then ran 2nd in the Keilor 400m novice off 26m.
2001 – Mark Howard (20m) 46.36 – (field back 10m) - 1st Wangaratta

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Out of the 14 Opal winners, 8 of the last 9 were young and/or early in their career. Coote, Magree, Neim, Halge and Stephens all had 31m or more. Grant had come 3rd the year before when overweight. The landscape has changed in the last 4 years with young runners around the novice mark winning.
Only 1 veteran has won in the 14 runnings (Stephens).
The last 13 winners did not record a 400m win in that current season.
2 of last 4 off less than novice mark.
Last 3 were top 4 in Ballarat backies 400m.

So for 2015 we are looking for a young runner.
Generally it is someone who has surfaced in the last 4-6 weeks over this distance.
Around novice mark or less. Before 2011 the old form suggested young and on around 30m (before field pull).
No 400m wins for season.
Top 4 in Ballarat backies 400m preferred but can be in form finishing high up in final in one or more of the bigger recent 400’s. Albury, Avondale Heights, Ballarat, Camden or Keilor.


4 Re: Bendigo Opal on Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:46 am

Ribera

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Heat draw courtesy of the the Bendigo Advertiser

Bendigo Bank Black Opal, 400m:
Heat 1: Andrew Boudrie, Altona 4; Shane Woodrow, Redan 13; Andrew Campbell, Eltham 16; Nick Magree, Ferntree Gully 19; Lonain Burnett, Junortoun 20; Rhys Parkinson, Melton South 22; Mohamad Zeed, Chadstone 23; Jarrad Dartnall, Dernan Court 25; Hamish Adams, Croydon North 27; Robert Keenan, Sunbury 31; Alec Wiltshire, Buninyong 39; David Haigh, Sandringham 40.

Heat 2: Andrew Robinson, Riverside 6; Mickael Arminana, Southbank 14; Tom Newman, NSW 16; Michael Nitschke, Evandale 19; Oliver Robinson, Keighley 20; Jacob Reed, Grovedale 22; Robert Lehmann, Invermay Park 24; Andrew Wilcox, Lower 26; Rodney Mathews, Buninyong 28; Dane Heiden, Bendigo 35; Darren Naismith, Ringwood North 39; Chris Dixon, Parkdale 40.

Heat 3: Cameron Moss, Ringwood East 8; Lachlan Taylor, Taylors Lakes 14; Tom Paavola, NSW 18; Jack Doderico, Glengarry 20; Liam Shepherd, Caroline Springs 21; Jasper Nettlefold 22; Craig Mair, Kangaroo Ground 24; Cody Williamson, Maiden Gully 38; Andrew Curran, Scarsdale 32; Ben Mason, Hawthorn East 36; Jacob Nolan, Strathdale 40; Wade Girotto, Pascoe Vale 40.

Heat 4: Matthew Hargreaves, Tarneti 8; Liam Procaccino, Ballarat North 14; Jack Armour, Newtown 18; William Little, Glenhuntly 20; Nick Milton, Ballarat North 21; Hayden Wyllie, NSW 24; Dion Paull, Croydon Hills 26; Ryan Antidormi, Glen Waverley 28; Matthew Mifsud, Coburg 33; Harrison Chapman, North Melbourne 37; Nick Howard, Tullamarine 40; Justin Cohen, Caulfield 40.

Heat 5: Samuel Baird, Coghills Creek 0; Cory Innes, Hampton East 9; Conor Loughnan, Buderim 14; Greg Mitchell, Ascot Vale 18; Christopher Hargreaves, Werribee 20; Paul Tancredi, Essendon 21; David Flood, NSW 24; Richard Brown, Balmoral 26; Craig Foley, Surrey Hills 30; William Kerr, Park Orchards 34; Anthony Paige, Viewbank 37; Calvin Gook, Diggers Rest 40.

Heat 6: Luke Stevens, Tarneit 0; Nathan Riali, Yallambie 12; Jack Newman, Largs 14; Chad Ryan, Melbourne 19; Connor Verrall 20; Shane Ezard, Torquay 21; Caleb McGrath, Ballarat 23; Fraser Heard, Willaura 25; Robert Kane, South Australia 26; James Deane, Heathmont 31; Lawrence Coop, Lower 34; Michael Voumard, Armadale 38.

Heat 7: Ian Douglas, 2; Mitchell Hocking, Strathfieldsaye 13; James Alexander, Greta South 15; Luke Whitney, Midway Point 19; Aaron Pengelly, Wodonga 22; Stuart Aberdein, Blampied 23; Neil Brennan, Brighton 25; Aaron Pooley, Spotswood 27; Daniel Millard, South Australia 31; Evan King, Alfredton 38; Glenn Stephens, Epsom 40; Timothy Rosen, Bentleigh East 40.

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