AFL BOUNDARY umpire Adam Coote captured the biggest win of his professional running career in Burnie on New Year's Day.
Now he is named to take on Daylesford this Saturday.
Coote will race off a mark of 7.5 metres at Cricket Willow, starting his bid in the same field as in-form Maryborough Gift runner-up Noddy Angelakos.
The wet and windy West Park in Burnie might be a long way removed from grand final day at a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground but Coote says they both comfortably ranked alongside each other after his Burnie Gift 120m victory.
"It's right up there, it's the biggest win of my career," Coote said.
"I've won a big 400-metre race at Bendigo and I've umpired some AFL grand finals on the boundary which is also an unbelievable achievement, but this is as big as those."
Starting from an equal front mark of 9.5m, Coote's win was delayed when fellow Victorian Maxim Mishchenko false started, sending him back a metre.
From the restart, Coote was quickly out of the blocks and had the race in his keeping by the halfway mark.
He beat home the only Tasmanian in the field, Hobart backmarker Jesse Usoalii (4m), with Carl Morehouse (6.5m) finishing third.
The win was also a triumph for his coach, Mark Hipworth, who was a fellow Burnie Gift winner, but had experienced little delight in the race since.
"Mark won it in 1986, but hasn't had a male gift winner since he has been coaching, so it's great to win for him," Coote said.
"It's a very special race for Mark and his stable."
Maryborough Gift winner Lee Forrest, from Tallangatta near Albury-Wodonga, is not named to contest Daylesford.
*Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games aspirant Angela Byrt has the tight mark of one metre for the Daylesford women’s gift 100m.
The Geelong sprinter is also the only female entered in the Daylesford Gift 100m field.