After a long period of generally indifferent form, John Collins found a little of the old magic in last Saturday’s Community Axis Handicap, taking out the race by half a minute.
Run over a 5km course along the banks of a creek at Haven, south of Horsham, runners were constantly challenged by washouts and tributary gullies along the edge of the main creek bed.
Collins took the lead early in the race from Gary Saunders, then maintained his speed to the finish and was not headed. Behind him Alexa Duke, Steve Baird and Emma Kelly were battling for the minor placings.
With 800 metres to go, Duke led Kelly by 10 meters, with Baird and Patrick Ellis coming up behind them.
However, Kelly had the most left in her legs when it came to the final sprint, and crossed the line in second place, with Duke having to settle for third.
Adrian Tyler continued his great form of this season to again take out the fastest race time of 18 minutes 42 seconds. Susie Ellis was the fastest female in a time of 22 minutes 21 seconds.
Sisters Elly and Georgia Barnett scored a family double with Elly taking out the junior 3 kilometre event from Liam Scott and Bianca Robertson.
Elly led from start to finish, and came home half a minute ahead of Scott, who ran the quickest junior time of 13 minutes 16 seconds.
Georgia also led the field from start to finish in the sub-junior 1km handicap, coming home ahead of Aleesha Robertson, with Somer Darnell third.
Aleesha Robertson was the fastest sub-junior in a time of 4 minutes 38 seconds.