Maryborough Gift and Burrumbeet Cup welcome in a new year in sport

WELCOME to 2014 and what will be a huge year for sport in the Ballarat region.

The Maryborough Highland Gathering and Burrumbeet Cup are first-up today.

The Maryborough Gift is traditionally the launching pad towards the business end of the professional running circuit – next month’s rich Ballarat Gift and the Stawell Easter Gift.

Melanie Whelan and Michael Pollock will be on the spot at Maryborough’s Princes Park to provide updates as the action happens.

Follow their live coverage via twitter on @sportcourier

TIMETABLE

10am: 70m open handicap heats

10.37: 70m open handicap semi-finals

10.52: under-20 800m final

11.00: street parade and highland dancing start

11.03: 70m open handicap final

11.14: 120m novice handicap heats

11.30: heavy games start

11.35: 120m veterans handicap heats

Noon: 120m Women's Necklace heats, bands start on oval

12.14pm: 120m novice handicap final

12.19: 120m veteran's handicap final

12.28: 800m open handicap final

12.35: official opening 153rd Maryborough Highland Gathering

1.05: 120m Maryborough Gift heats

1.32: 120m Women's Necklace final

1.42: 1600m women's and veterans' final

2.00: 120m Maryborough Gift semi-finals

2.15: 400m novice heats

2.31: 400m women's heats

2.47: 200m handicap heats

3.15: 300m veterans heats

3.35: 400m open heats

4.10: 400m novice final

4.15: 400m women's final

4.25: 120m Maryborough Gift final

4.25: 120m Maryborough Gift final

4.40: 200m handicap final

4.45: 300m veterans final

4.50: 400m open final

4.55: 1600m open final

5.10: heavy stones final, girl on the drum

BURRUMBEET CUP

THE $15,000 Burrumbeet Cup will be the finale on a seven-race program at Burrumbeet today.

The field, which will jump at 5pm,  has been trimmed to five starters with the scratching of Chicanes.

There are five scratchings all up:

R1 2 - R2 6 - R4 8,9 - R7 (cup) 6

The first race is at 1.10pm.

Follow our coverage of the day on twitter - @trackballarat and @sportcourier

WHAT’S COMING UP IN THE REGION

VICTORIAN Inter-regional Tennis Championships begin at Creswick on Friday and run for three days.

BALLARAT harness races on Thursday night, with eight events and the first at 6.68pm.

DAYLESFORD Gift at Cricket Willow on Saturday.

CENTRAL Highlands under-13 and under-15 country week cricket begins on Monday.

 CYCLING Australia National Road Championships begin in Ballarat next Wednesday (January 8)

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