Edinburgh AC's Ben Robbins produced a power-packed run to claim victory in the 144th running of the famous New Year [Powderhall] 110 metres Sprint handicap at Musselburgh Racecourse.
In one of the closest and most open betting finals in years, 16-year-old Robbins, a pupil at George Watson's College, stormed up the rain-softened track from the 7.5 metres mark to stop the clock at 12.14 seconds to land the £4000 prize and Eric Liddell Memorial medal.
Making it an Edinburgh AC 1-2 was Keiran Reilly[12.29s] who just edged out Gemma Nicol, Dunfermline West Fife AC[12.32] for the runners-up spot.
Scottish international Nicol, appearing in her sixth final, was well fancied to become the first female winner of Scotland's most famous athletics event, but once again had to settle for a minor place.
Such was the uncertainty of what would be the eventual outcome of the race, all eight finalists were still attracting support right up until starter Barry Craighead sent them on their way.
Lasswade AC pair Jordan Charters[12.38] and Charlie Carstairs[12.50] finished 4th and 5th, the Borders representation in the final came from Hawick duo David Rae[12.56] and 2009 winner Leigh Marshall[12.59] who were 6th and 7th with Allan Hamilton[12.59], Edinburgh AC who was backmarker in the final off 4 metres in 8th place.
Hamilton got some consolation by winning the Backmarkers invitation 110 metres.
Another 16-year-old Jessie Concannon, [DWF AC] who trains with Gemma Nicol took the £300 first prize in the supporting 90 metres handicap.
It was a good meeting for Lasswade AC in the inaugural straight four furlongs races, with Ross Matheson coming from the backmark to take the Open race and Dominic O'Hare, younger brother of Scottish international Chris, won the junior race.
Full results from New Year Sprint here
Published: 2013-01-05 12:36:12