Gift winners to battle it out this Easter

STAWELL - Winners of eight of the biggest races on the Australian professional athletics circuit will once again battle it out for bragging rights and a winner-takes-all prize purse at Central Park on Easter Monday in the 2013 Stawell Gold Mines Gift Winners' Gift.

The invitational event will feature the winners of the Ballarat, Maryborough, Stonnington and Albury/Wodonga Gifts, who will join recently crowned Queanbeyan Gift (New South Wales) winner Dean Scarff, Bay Sheffield (South Australia) champion Josh Ross, Burnie (Tasmania) teen sensation Jacob Despard and reigning Australia Post Stawell Gift champion Matt Wiltshire in what is bound to be an extremely tight competition.

The total prize pool for the Stawell Gold Mines Gift Winners' Gift is $6250, with the winner collecting $5000 cash and unconditional bragging rights.

The Stawell Gold Mines Gift Winners' Gift is run over 120 metres with the eight competitors starting on their current handicap at the time of the Easter carnival. The race will be run after the final of the Australia Post Stawell Gift on Easter Monday.

Reigning Australia Post Stawell Gift champion Matt Wiltshire said he was excited by the prospect of testing himself against his fellow state and interstate Gift winners.

"The Gift Winner's Gift is a great concept. I can't wait to get out there and race again and see how I compete against these top athletes," Wiltshire said.

"I'm especially excited about competing against Josh (Ross).

"His effort at the Bay Sheffield this year was pretty good - he created history by winning off scratch - the first person to do so in 126 years.

"Yeah, he is good. And the other bloke to really watch is Jacob Despard. He has the youngest legs going round."

Despard won the Burnie Gift, Tasmania's richest professional running prize, at the tender age of 16 on New Year's Day this year.

Stawell Gold Mines, who have supported this race for the past 16 years, are looking forward to the tough competition.

"This event has grown considerably over the years - to have eight starters this year is outstanding" Troy Cole from Stawell Gold Mines said.

"We are rapt that Stawell can continue to attract Australia's best professionals.

"They all aspire to win their home town Gifts but then it's 'bring on Stawell' - to win this race is the pinnacle of all Gifts and we are proud to be directly associated with it."

The 132nd Australia Post Stawell Gift carnival will be staged during the Easter long weekend from Friday, March 29 to Monday, April 1 2013.

Visit www.stawellgift.com/event-guide/buy-tickets/ or the Stawell Athletic Club office in Stawell now for your individual, family or three day weekend event pass.

Corporate marquee packages and memberships can also be purchased.

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