CHAMPAGNE, fashion, horse racing, fun… And the Equmen Gift. Interest at tomorrow’s Girls Day Out racing fixture, a social fundraiser to aid local breast cancer support, will spike at 1pm when 14 local lads deck out in nothing but a singlet, underpants and bow-tie and dash down the 100 metre straight.
LLOYD SCROOPE rates the runners’ chances.
Andy Ginn - Made a big impression on the ladies in last year’s Gift despite finishing well back from the leaders. Trained for tomorrow’s race using ample sleep and minimal running. Will take inspiration from the beats of favourite band, Sydney dance duo The Presets. Can’t be discounted.
Aaron Grandovski - Unlikely to attract too much attention from the punters, mind you, neither did Green Moon. Heads into the Gift without race experience but on a tactful diet of takeaway food. His friends call him Insane Bolt. You do the maths.
Ben Todkill - Loves a steak, enjoys a beer and isn’t easily flustered: all the ingredients needed in a potential Gift winner. Has proven he can handle big occasions by steering the Dirty Reds to a Monaro Cup premiership in September. Quick between the ears as well as on his feet.
Curtis Flood - Bucks a trend of fast food dominated diets and instead prefers to graze on pasta and sip on water. Takes inspiration from 2012 Dancing With The Stars dreamboat Jordan Wilcox. Is keen to get a taste of the limelight too. Big chance.
James Aubusson - Has struggled to get on the track this season courtesy of a troublesome neck. Addressed injuries during a recent trip to Las Vegas and Hawaii. Finished fourth in the 2011 Gift and would be satisfied with a place this time around.
Kyle Citra - No group one form to speak of but knows inside-out the threats posed by stablemates and fellow tradies Andrew Ginn, Aaron Grandovski, Pat Smith and Curtis Flood. Should feature towards the front if quick out of the barriers.
Luke Shaw - Small in stature, big on speed. If the Dirty Reds winger by winter finds the finish post with the same aptitude he finds the try line, he’ll be hard to beat. Could develop a cult following as the lone redhead in the field.
Mitch Turner - Hasn’t reached the 100m mark of late and needs a lightening start to climb into contention. The Eels supporter is eager to a end a lean NRL season on a high note. Won’t lack motivation.
Pat Smith - Knows what to expect in the lead up and ought to handle nerves with ease. This unattached colt is out to impress the fillies on Girls Day Out. A stunning race will help his cause. Midfield finish at worst.
Tom Chapman - The defending champion and runner to beat. Chapman should factor into punters’ equations, though defending champions and highly fancied starters don’t always win. Just ask Craig Williams.
Zach Weir - Fast on the football field. Insiders indicate the youngster might be a touch on the nervous side come raceday. Has the potential to challenge for the crown should he brush aside those butterflies. One of three starters from the Jack Anable stable.
Tim Turner - An imposing outside back on the football field and an equally imposing sprinter on the Goulburn Racecourse straight. Has trimmed down since his last start at the Gift, where he finished third. Don’t be surprised if he wins this time around.
Tynan Buckley - Spends plenty of time on the paddock as a farm hand out Lake Bathurst way. Should adapt to the green pastures with ease. Has no history in the Gift, so an unknown in punting circles. Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup proved the favourites don’t always fare well.
Zac Sullivan - Kept his profile under wraps in the lead-up to tomorrow’s dash. That ploy may work in his favour. Rival runners don’t know what to expect, and nor do the ladies. Every chance of surprising rivals over the short distance. Needs to get out of the barriers well.
To view the boys' individual profiles please click here