Last year’s One Mile Gift winner Daniel Parnell (green) is followed by Jack Warner (pink) and Patrick Hagan (blue). The annual foot racing is being held at the Ipswich Turf Club on Saturday afternoon.
TWO former Stawell Gift runners are among the quality challengers contesting Saturday’s annual handicap foot racing at the Ipswich Turf Club.
Murray Goodwin, the 2015 victor, and 2011 winner Mitchell are competing in the two main events at Bundamba.
After no junior race was run last year, this year’s format returns to three events ― the $5000 Open Mile Gift, $1000 300m Open Gift and $500 Junior Mile Gift.
The three races are held on the sand track inside the main Ipswich Turf Club grass circuit in between races at Saturday afternoon’s turf program.
Goodwin, ambassador for the event last year, is tackling some proven performers in the One Mile Gift. He’ll start off 185m, testing his endurance.
Backmarker Williams is a first-time runner in the 300m event.
With previous winners and experienced distance runners lining up this year, Ipswich and District Athletic Club president Vic Pascoe is excited about the annual foot racing, being staged for the 11th time.
“With 22 runners, that will probably be our biggest field we’ve ever had,” Pascoe said.
Two highly rated sisters Lara and Lucinda Crouch have joined the crack field featuring last year’s winner Daniel Parnell, Ipswich distance specialist Clay Dawson and regular entrant Andrew Dey.
After winning in 2013, Dey came fifth last year on the sand track, which provides an extra challenge to runners not familiar with the turf club surface.
Pascoe rated Ipswich club runner Jack Warner a big threat after seeing what he’s been doing in training. Warner has finished second the past two years.
Another Ipswich athlete to watch is Glen Yarham, who returns after studying in the United States. He has run the event previously, getting a feel for the sand conditions.
Pascoe’s top tip for the Mile Gift is Tamara Carvolth, who has represented Australia in world cross country events.
Apart from becoming a popular athletics event in Ipswich, Pascoe said the timing of Saturday’s racing would help elite runners preparing for major cross country events in coming weeks.
The three foot races will be run between the gallop events being staged at the “Eddies Legs day” at the Ipswich Turf Club.
The Open 300m race is scheduled for 1.25pm with the Junior Gift at 2.45pm and the One Mile Gift at 3.25pm.
The annual foot racing event is supported by the Ipswich Hospital Foundation and Ipswich Turf Club, backed by sponsors St Andrews Ipswich Private Hospital, the Queensland Athletic League and Savige Pest Control.
IPSWICH HANDICAP LINE-UPs
$5000 Ipswich Open Mile Gift (handicap in brackets): Jack Anstey (45m), Glen Yarham (60), Brendan Press (70), Jay Twist (80), Josh Nolan (90), Callum Davies (115), Daniel Parnell (140), Chevy Black (155), Clay Dawson (175), Murray Goodwin (185), Jack Warner (190), Aidan Hobbs (200), Andrew Dey (215), Caleb Sadler (220), Ryan Bidner (265), Montanna McAvoy (270), Tamara Carvolth (285), Larissa Chambers (300), Kevin Grace (300), Melissa Roberts (300), Lara and Lucinda Crouch (handicaps to be confirmed).
$1000 Open 300m Gift (handicap in brackets): Mitchell Williams (7m), Leslie Snuderl (22), Scott Tuohy (24), Alex Swainston (31), Chris Mobbs (33), Lorenz Ryan (38), Larissa Chambers (42), Steven Graham (43), Wayne Adams (48), Erica Hungerford (51), Harley Wilkinson (53), Elizabeth Melrose (62), Paul Adams (115).
$500 Junior Mile Gift (handicap in brackets): Jay Shipperley (130), Alex Davies (135), Ethan Mooney (170), Aysha Ozden (195), Kerryn Ryan (240), Tara Chaplin (260), Kane Moulder-Shard (295), Ebony Moulder-Shard (300), Imogen Brett (520), Ryleigh Sherlock (610), Rhani Hagan (700).