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Stawell gift Almanac - Joshua Ross

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For Immediate Release 12 November

Josh Ross - three times lucky?

Dual Stawell Gift winner Joshua Ross said he would be back to try and win the iconic event for the third time in 2009.

Speaking at the launch of the Stawell Gift Almanac at the National Post Master Gallery in Melbourne today, Ross said the event felt like a 'coming home'.

"I still get shivers when I walk through the gates of Central Park. It's a place of great importance to me. And yeah, I'll be back next year to give it another go."

Josh who appears on the cover of the Stawell Gift Almanac, admitted to some positive thinking techniques before each of his Gift wins.

"In 2003 I went into the Stawell Gift museum before the event and I saw Ravelomanantsoa's picture on the wall, and I said to myself, I want my picture up there next to you. Then in 2005 I practised the two finger sign in the mirror (to indicate two wins) before the race. When I was in the race at sixty metres to go, I thought I've got this and just kept going. As I went through the line I held my fingers up to say 'That's two.'"

Josh's 2003 and 2005 Stawell Gift wins are just two of the years covered in the Stawell Gift Almanac. The book is the first to comprehensively cover the first 127 years of Australia's oldest professional footrace, from 1878-2008 with the stories behind each win of this iconic race.

Author Gary Watt, a sporting journalist with 30 years experience, spent over six years extensively researching the book. Having attended his first Stawell Gift carnival in 1978, Watt spent over 6000 hours researching the complete history of this world famous sporting contest and has interviewed many of the surviving Stawell Gift champions, incorporating their personal victories and experiences throughout the chapters of this book.

The Stawell Gift Almanac is available from selected good book stores, Australia Post shops in the lead-up to the 2009 Gift or directly from Legacy Books at www.legacybooks.com.au/stawellgiftalmanac.htm.

$39.95 Softcover $49.95 Hardcover $99.95 Limited edition leather-bound.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact: Legacy Books, Julie Athanasiou 0408 70 78 66 or info@legacybooks.com.au

End of release

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