Stawell Gift favourite Matthew Rizzo has been crowned the 2017 winner of Australia’s richest footrace.
Rizzo, who was trained by Maitland’s Bruce Gulliver, collected the $40,000 prize check.
It was a teenage double with Rizzo, 18, joined by 16-year-old school girl Liv Ryan who held off a hard-finishing field.
Ryan, 16, was a $31 outsider with the bookmakers on Friday night but had plunged to a $2 favourite by Saturday afternoon.
Papua New Guinea’s Toea Wisil who is trained by former Maitland-based coach Tony Fairweather failed to qualify for the final.
Largs twin Jack and Tom Newman, trained by Maitland’s Bryan Gulliver, were unable to progress from the semi-finals of the Gift.
Jack was a narrow second in his 200m semi-final to Leigh Bennett who finished third in the final in a photo finish behind winner Ryan Bedford and Kendra Hubbard