Stawell Gift: Ash Cowen salutes in Hall of Fame handicap

STAWELL athlete Ash Cowen has tasted success on his home track, taking out the 1600-metre Stawell Gift Hall of Fame Backmarkers’ Handicap on Saturday.

GALLERY: Day one at the Stawell Gift 2014

Spurred on by a vocal home crowd, Cowen finished strongly down the straight, ahead of Elwood’s Ian Burrows and North Balwyn’s Joel Donnar.

Running off a 170-metre handicap at his third Gift carnival, the 19-year-old saluted in a time of 3:55:10.

Cowen was ecstatic to come away with the win – and said the Stawell track and crowd helped to see him home.

“I’m stoked – I honestly can’t explain it,” he said.

“It definitely got my over the line.”

“The amount of times I’ve run around that bend in training, it was definitely an advantage.”

Cowen - who is following in the footsteps of his grandfather John Dalziel and uncle Wayne Dalziel - will be looking to back up his performance in the novice mile on Sunday.

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