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Smith The TAB Favourite To Win First Golden Shears Open

MEDIA RELEASE

On behalf of Shearing Sports New Zealand

February 21, 2013.

Smith The TAB Favourite To Win First Golden Shears Open

Hastings shearer Rowland Smith is the bookmakers favourite to win his first Golden Shears open title in Masterton next week, despite the presence of four others who between them have won 21 of the finals of the World’s greatest shearing event in the last 23 years.

When begtting opened today, the 26-year-old Smith was paying $2.50, with defending champion and four-times winner John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, second-favourite at $3, and Te Kuiti legend David Fagan next at $5 to win his 17th title, at the age of 51, and 29 years after he debuted in the final as runner-up to brother John in 1984.

Originally from Northland, from where he won the Golden Shears Junior title in 2004 and Senior title in 2006, Smith’s favouritism is based on near all-conquering form since mid-January when he returned to competition after honeymooning in Hawaii with new wife and fellow shearing record-breaker Ingrid Baynes.

The 2011 New Zealand Open winner, he’s won seven finals in four weeks, including a remarkable double last weekend, in Gore on Saturday and Pukekohe on Sunday.

Kirkpatrick has been in 12 finals during the summer but won just three - one in Australia, two in the South Island, and none in the North Island, while Fagan, who last won the Golden Shears Open in 2009, has won four finals.

About 60 shearers have so far entered the Open, which starts with heats next Friday(Mar 1), the second of three days of the 53rd Golden Shears. The goal is a place in the six-man “Wimbledon” of shearing, the Open final of 20 second-shear sheep each, the fastest likely to finish in about 16 minutes.

The opening of betting today follows yesterday’s opening of a book on the PGG Wrightson National, the final of which will also be held on the last night of the Golden Shears, over 15 sheep of mixed breeds and wool, culminating a competition which had five qualifying rounds throughout the country. The favourite for that event is Rakaia shearer Tony Coster.

Odds to win the 53rd Golden Shears Open are: $2.50 Rowland Smith; $3 John Kirkpatrick; $5 David Fagan; $7 Cam Ferguson; $9 Dion King, $15 Nathan Stratford; $17 Gavin Mutch; $25 James Fagan, Darin Forde, Murray Henderson; $30 Digger Balme, Adam Brausch; $40 Doug Smith, Mark Grainger, Paerata Abraham, Tony Coster, Axle Reid; $60 Andy Mainland, Tama Niania, Bevan Guy, Ian Kirkpatrick, Aaron Haynes; $80 Tom Wilson, Grant Smith, Jimmy Samuels, Bart Hadfield; $100 Shane Rawlinson, Noel Gardiner, Chris Vickers, Wi Poutu Ngarangione, Peter Clendon, Adam Berry, Shannon Warnest, Matene Mason.

TAB spokesman Kieran McAnulty says other shearers will be quoted on inquiry.

ENDS

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