It’s race week and the Stawell Athletic Club Stawell Gift is all set to start this Saturday.
After the release of handicaps, the bookies have started to frame the market and the first set of odds have surfaced.
In somewhat of a surprise, the only scratch runner in either the Stawell Athletic Club Stawell Gift or the Australia Post Women’s Stawell Gift is the shortest priced favourite.
Papua New Guinean athlete Toea Wisil will run from scratch and has been given the opening odds of just $3 for the Australia Post Women’s Stawell Gift, according to Stawell Gift veteran John Henry who has been helping the bookmakers at the Stawell Gift since 1979.
“After winning the Australian championships just the other week, she’s obviously in good shape despite her mark of scratch, so Toea starts favourite,” Henry said.
Victorian pair Sophie Taylor and Maddie Coates share the next lowest mark in the Australia Post Women’s Gift at $5. While Mikayla Round is at $6 and Anna Duncan at $7.
“It’s very hard at the moment because I don’t think there will be too much between 4 or 5 of them in the women’s race. As per usual there will probably be a smokey come out of the rough,” Henry explained.
Favourite for the 2017 Stawell Athletic Club Stawell Gift is Matthew Rizzo. Running off 7.5m, he hasn’t raced since the Rye Gift in early January and the bookies have him in their sights as favourite at $4.
Michael Romanin starts next favourite off 4.75m and with odds of $8, with a long list of athletes next on $12 including Nathan Riali, Ryan Camille, Ryan McNamara and Thomas Maloney.
“It’s still very early in the process, but this is what it looks like at present and of course it will change. The real action comes at the Calcutta on Easter Friday at the Town Hall in Stawell, that’s when we’ll really see what the market is saying,” said Henry, who will attend the Stawell Gift this year for the 55th time.
See the official handicaps here.
Stawell Athletic Club Men’s Stawell Gift Odds
Matthew Rizzo – $4
Michael Romanin – $8
Nathan Riali – $12
Ryan Camille – $12
Ryan McNamara – $12
Thomas Maloney – $12
Australia Post Women’s Gift Odds
Toea Wisil – $3
Sophie Taylor – $5
Maddie Coates – $5
Mikayla Round – $6
Anna Duncan – $7
The 2017 Stawell Easter Gift runs from this Saturday 15 – Monday 17 April. Get your tickets at stawellgift.com.