ADRIAN Fury will target the undercard at the Stawell Gift with his team of professional runners this weekend.
More than $125,000 is on offer for a series of races, with the prestigious gift carrying a $40,000 first prize.
Fury, who has been going to Stawell as an athlete and trainer for more than three decades and made the final in 1985, said it was the highlight of the professional running season.
“We’ll take six or seven runners there but look to target the novice events,” he said.
“Carrick Gill-Valance, who only started running seriously two years ago, has qualified for the novice 400-metre series final.
“He was the fastest qualifier at Albury and was run down in the shadows of the post in the final so we are hoping he can continue that form this weekend.”
Fury is hoping novice sprinters Leigh Miller and Aaron Pengelly can build on their season.
“Miller, who is new to VAL racing, broke his novice status with a comfortable win at Burramine over 100 metres,” he said.
“He had an easy win in his heat and improved his time for the final to win by half a metre in 10.71.
“Pengelly ran away with the final of the novice at Wangaratta in January.
“But Stawell is a real test — for most of these runners this is their grand final, the races they have been targeting all summer.”
Pengelly’s win at Wangaratta was just .05 seconds slower than the winner of the gift on the same night.