Thu 3rd May 2018
Matt Lavers wins a very entertaining Harestock Handicap from Rob Weekes and Adrian Haughton
The May handicap was something of a classic with 23 runners including 6 event newbies - welcome Rob Weekes, Ben Burfoot, Alex Jack, Will Andrews, Doug Henderson and Michael Hartz.
It was a night for fast running with 18 runners either meeting or beating their handicaps and 20 runners finishing in the sweetspot that is the blanket finish. Maybe it was something to do with all the politics in the air or the traffic around the polling station but there were a few navigational hiccups tonight : Simone decided that she was not for turning whilst Rick blew his chances by dramatically veering off to the left.
Matt Lavers wasn't to be put off by all this excitement and held on to win the race by 3secs from Rob Weekes with a fast finishing Adrian Haughton only 1sec further back. There were close finishes all through the field with a number of same time finishes and complaints that chivalry was apparently dead as the elbows came out along the finishing straight.
Fastest on the night was James Moore in 5'58 - bang on handicap - congratulations to him. Overall we had no fewer than 10 runners dipping under the 7min barrier - not sure we have ever had that many. Second fastest was one of our newbies, Ben Burfoot, with 6'32 straight onto the honours board at No.32, and third fastest was Robert Bryan in 6'40. Other notable times were Kevin Frisby equalling his 3yr old PB of 6'44 and Adrian Haughton posting a new PB of 6'50 (up to No.59 on the Board). Simone Paulson ran a new PB of 6'59 to become the 5th lady to make it onto the honours board coming in at No.75 for now but there is more to come there. Similarly Will Andrews enjoyed a fine debut with 6'59 and he too has much more to offer.
The May results are here : Harestock Handicap Results May 2018
As regards the overall standings it is still early days but by winning tonight Matt Lavers has certainly consolidated his position out in front. Adrian Haughton, Steve Oliver and Karen Hazlitt are leading the chase. With the holiday season yet to come and 7 more races and 3 discards still to factor in there will yet be many twists and turns.