OUTSIDER PAXTON CLAIMS SPRINT TITLE by SHANE FENTON.
There was a sensational outcome to the 141st New Year Sprint at a frosty Musselburgh Racecourse with Hawick's Daniel Paxton snatching victory and the £4000 prize from fellow Borderer's Greg Turnbull, Tweed Leader Jed Track and Iskan Barskanmay, Jedforest AC.
Just before the off you could have got odds of 16/1 about Paxton who had drifted from 7/2 earlier in the day as the bulk of the money all went on Barskanmay who started the odds on favourite after recording an impressive time of 11.68 seconds in his cross tie.
Amazingly all five runners from this cross tie made the final, with Cameron Smith, Tullibody, Colin Bruce Selkirk,Eric Smart ,NE Vets and Ryan Charters Dolphinton all going through as fastest losers.
Paxton 12.01, Turnbull 12.05 and Paul Donaghy,Durham 12.10, who the previous day had won the vets final were the other cross tie winners. All the cross-ties took place as heavy snow fell on the racecourse.
As the grandstand hushed for the final. the runners got off to a perfect start, by just over half way Paxton had edged in front of the men who started further up the handicap, however Turnbull and Barskanmay were soon closing the Hawick man down, at one stage the latter was on level terms.
Paxton dug deep and maintained his form and all the hard work he had put in under the guidance of his coaches Bill Edgar and David Grieve at Tweedbank came to fruition as he burst through the winning line to stop the watch at 11.95 seconds, half a metre ahead of Turnbull who had to settle for the runner up spot behind a Hawick man for the second year running in 12.01 with the strongly fancied Barskanmay taking third place in 12.07 only 100th of a second ahead of fourth placed Colin Bruce from Selkirk in fourth.
Between the cross-ties and the final Scotland's current fastest man Nick Smith, Aberdour won the 110 metres Backmarkers Invitation Handicap from the scratch mark.
On the opening day of the meeting both the Open and Youth's 90 metres handicaps were won by Fifers with Jack Beattie,Rosyth taking the Open in 9.77 seconds and Dunfermline West Fife's Jessie Concannon claiming the youth's title in 10.14 seconds.
The British 110 metres Championship was won by Craig Fleming, Greenock in a time of 12.55 seconds.
Due to horse racing fixture changes, next years New Year Sprint meeting is likely to take place on Hogmanay and New Years Day.
Published: 2009-12-29 21:21:57