Almost to the day after breaking a five year drought in winning the Stawell Amateur Athletic Club’s Chris Blake Handicap last year, injured veteran Stephen Baird scored back to back wins in the same race at Great Western racecourse last Saturday.
Baird, once a regular winner on the region’s track and cross country circuit, was almost crippled when he tore his hamstring from the bone competing in a 200 metres race in Melbourne in March, 2014.
Baird carried the remnants of a virus and a stomach upset into the Blake, but he was always going to be hard to beat on the short course which favoured front markers.
The race developed into a battle of the battle-scarred seniors, with Keith Lofthouse failing by 10 seconds to overhaul the winner and Bob Freeland third, just another four seconds behind.
The club’s finale this Saturday is the five kilometre Ivan McDonald Handicap at Stawell’s One Tree Hill. The season will officially end with the club’s 50th anniversary dinner at the North Park clubrooms on Friday, September 23.