Dhruv Rodrigues Chico has had the unusual honour of being the Stawell Gift defending champion for 24 months, despite having won the crown once.
But upon his return to Central Park's turf he didn't make any mistakes as he advances to the semi-finals with ease.
Around 130 men entered into the Powercor Stawell Gift field with 17 heats completed as the field was narrowed for Easter Monday's semi-finals.
The winner of each heat advances to the semi-finals with 25 other runners advancing based on who had the fastest times creating a field of 42.
Chico ran in the penultimate heat and is up against it in 2021 coming of a handicap of just 0.75, but when he hit top speed he was able to cruise to line with a time of 12.79.
However, he will face some stiff competition with a number of other runners also looking fast across the Central Park turf.
There was many runners who ran outstanding times as they pushed awfully close to the 12 second mark.
Previous Stawell Gift finalist Luke Houlihan set the fastest time of the day with a 12.11 as the big man from Sheidow Park showed some good form.
In heat eight Edward Ware put down one of the fastest times with a 12.19 with Jake Ireland slightly further back with a 12.24.
Heat ten was also fast with Jack Boulton's 12.22 right up there with the best.
No other heats were quite that fast, but 2018 Stawell Gift winner Jacob Despard ran a great time of 12.56 from his 1.25 metre mark.
Saturday's heats set-up a tantalising battle between some of Australia's best sprinters with Chico's 2019 winning time of 12.11 looking set to be broken as a strong field hunts to $40,000 prize.
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