POPULAR Nigerian runner Bola Lawal is after his second Burramine Gift when he lines-up in the $8000 race at J.C. Lowe Oval next weekend.
Lawal, who will start off one metre, tasted success in 2008 before running fifth in 2010. He is one of the sprinters to beat in the 63-strong field.
An extra heat will be run this year to cater for a spike in numbers.
Organiser Frances Connell said yesterday Lawal would be a huge drawcard in a quality field.
“It’s great to have him back,” Connell said.
“He’s a very good runner with a big following.”
Melbourne brothers Matthew and Shaun Hargreaves, Canberra’s Brendan Matthews, Prahran’s Ollie Wurm, Williamstown’s Sam Jamieson and Geelong’s Mark Hignett will also be among the backmarkers.
Wangaratta’s Paul Hughes will also run.
Megan McMahon, Katie Moore and Kim McDonough should be prominent in the women’s $1000 gift.
Connell said entries were strong in most events with 63 runners in the men’s gift and 28 in the women’s version.
“It’s good. It’s coming together well with junior numbers strong as well,” she said.
Runners from Canberra, Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo, Cobram and Albury-Wodonga have entered.
The gates open at 8.30am on March 16.