Robinson motivated by comparisons

ANDREW Robinson knows he is now the "one" that others will compare themselves to this Christmas Carnivals series, a by-product of being a Stawell Gift winner.

The 21-year-old from Riverside understands this feeling, having compared his own performances to runners of that stature over the past five series.

He is also using it as motivation heading into Saturday's opening engagement at Rosebery.

"I'm a competitive person and I really want to be that way this Christmas Carnivals series and not go down easy," he said.

"For me, it's now about learning how to run well off a back- mark, as it's not something I've done a lot.

"I'm fully aware that there will be guys using me to measure how they're running, and that's really good that they respect me, but in saying that, I'm not going to let them do that as easy as they might hope.

"This year people are thinking about me, and I'm not thinking about any other competitor other than myself, as I'm in my own little world back where I am.

"All the other runners will be concentrating on me, thinking `when is Robinson going to come, is he going to kick?' so I'm just going to have fun and enjoy it, as there is no pressure."

Robinson knows this feeling first-hand having outrun 2010 Stawell Gift winner Tom Burbidge in the 200 metres at Devonport and Burnie in 2012.

"I know that you really want to beat the Stawell Gift winner, as they have achieved the pinnacle in our sport," he said.

The Ray Quarrell-trained runner admitted there were fleeting moments where he thought `what else is there to do in this sport?' after winning Australia's richest footrace, but being able to run with pressure and expectation of performance excited him.

"My motivation is to go out there and prove to people that I can still make a dent in this carnivals series," he said.

"You get written off when you are right back there as a Tasmanian backmarker, and my motivation is to prove those people wrong who think I won't be able to make up the distance in the handicap."

Robinson, who will be handicapped at 1.25m in the gifts, 15m in the 400 and 4m in the 200, said the Australian professional 400m championships at Devonport, which is a scratch race, was a new opportunity to test himself against some of the country's best.

The former Scotch Oakburn student, who is studying a Bachelor of Education, said the Mark Hipworth, John Henry and Paul Young stables provided a strong challenge with quality runners such as Matt Hargreaves, Adam Coote, Clay Watkins and Dale Woodhams all in action.

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