London-based NSW veteran takes home Daylesford Gift

LONDON-based Brian Wright wrapped up a hit-run raid on the Victorian professional athletics circuit on a high at Cricket Willow on Saturday.

The New South Wales veteran ran away with the Telstra Daylesford Gift in 11.044 seconds – his first Gift victory in Victoria.

Formerly Ballarat-based Adam Cabble, of Chirnside Park, filled a minor placing in the 100-metre dash for the second year in a row.

Cabble (9.75m) was second, one position better than 2012, while Queensland outmarker Richard Norris (16.75m) completed the podium.

Originally from Sydney, Wright (15m) will return to England after three wins in a week.

He had a double in the veterans’ 120m and veterans’ 300m at Maryborough on New Year’s Day.

While this campaign is over, Wright is not finished in Victoria this season.

He will make his annual pilgrimage to the Stawell Easter Carnival, where he has enjoyed success as a competitor and coach in a running career spanning 30 years.

A sprint coach for the University of NSW Athletics Club, he guided Richard Hankin to second in the 2008 Stawell Gift, Ed Ware to second in 2011, and Iain Macfarlane to third in 2007.

Wright, 50, moved to London in August last year to further his career as a funds manager with BT Investments Management.

He said he had made sure before taking up the role that he would be able to get back to for the Stawell Gift.

Wright said he had not won a Gift in more than decade, but had been racing well and given himself a chance at Daylesford.

Wright, who trains by himself in London, won his heat in 11.32 seconds and his semi-final in the fastest time of 11.12.

Cabble had the fastest heat time of 11.06, while Ballarat’s Nathan Fox qualified for the final with an 11.41 heat win and close second in a semi-final.

david.brehaut@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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