Former Maitland sprinter Josh Ross will have to create history if he wants to take out this year’s Bay Sheffield Gift.
Ross has been handicapped off scratch and no runner has won from that mark in the event’s 125 years.
The two-time Olympian, who represented Australia in the 4x100 metre relay final at London 2012, has previously won the Stawell Gift (2005) and two Burnie Gifts from the back of the field.
Ross, the 2005 Maitland Sportsperson of the Year, finished a close second at the Bay Sheffield
Gift in 2004 when giving up half a metre.
The early betting markets for 2012 have Ross at 20-1 but home-state runner Tom Sclanders is the favourite for the 120m race, while Victorian Adam Coote and West Australian Matthew Short are next in the listings.
Ross will start in the 15th and final heat tomorrow at Colley Reserve, South Australia.
In other Bay Sheffield Gift news, former East Maitland sprinter Laura Whaler will be the backmarker in the women’s main race.
Whaler, now living in Melbourne, has a handicap of 0.5m in tomorrow’s 120m sprint while she will take the same mark into today’s 70m race.