Macksville Gift 2017 - form guide

PROUD HISTORY: The Macksville Gift on Saturday has seen some of Australia's best runners show their skills - and funds raised have contributed over many years to projects across the Nambucca Valley
PROUD HISTORY: The Macksville Gift on Saturday has seen some of Australia's best runners show their skills - and funds raised have contributed over many years to projects across the Nambucca Valley

WITH more than 35 runners entered in the prized jewel in the crown, picking the winner of the Macksville Gift on Saturday will be hard to nail.

The 120 metre final will be run under lights, at 8pm, and first home will pocket $2800.

Insider information has been sourced and the following runners will be worth keeping an eye on:

Will Roberts off a handicap of 3.75m, Botany Bay Gift winner, won the novice and the U18 Gift at Queanbeyan. Possibly Australia’s most improved young runner. May have to be the Gift favourite.

Mitchell Pateman off a handicap of 6.75m from Queensland. Finalist last year. Missed Queanbeyan through injury, wasn’t quite right for Stawell this year. Great chance for another Queenslander to win the Gift.

Luke Eckford off a handicap of 9.75m. Won last year’s Queanbeyan Gift and Victoria’s $7000 flying 70m final earlier this year. Trained by dual Macksville winner Bruce Gulliver.

Last year's winner Michael Hanna

Last year's winner Michael Hanna

Ross Langbein off a handicap of 11.5m. Former top class beach sprinter now in the veteran class, but won the 110m and the vets/woman’s final at Hensley Athletic Field last Sunday. In top form, and will prove hard to run down.

Matt Murray off a handicap of 10.5m. Has had a lot of success in lesser races in the past season. Much improved athlete who will prove very competitive.

Participants on the day have the chance to pocket some serious cash with prize money for events over $10,000.

Locals also have the opportunity to dig into the cash with entry into the male and female amateur sprints with $140 in total for the fastest in each event.

For the distance runners, the 8am Fun Run and the evening Classic Mile – prizemoney also awaits the first three home.

The Under 12s will have their own youth race over 70 metres and the Under 18s have a 120-metre dash for cash.

If running is not your style, the local banana growers have $600 in prize money to hand out to male/female Primary, Secondary and Open contestants in the World Championship Banana Hurl. Try your hand at throwing a banana more than 60 metres.

With amusements, food, ice cream, a street procession, entertainment from Little As, Terry Simpson and Dianne Coombes plus the heats and semi-finals of the pro runners, Macksville Gift at Macksville Park, will be the place of entertainment on Saturday.