March 4, 2005 Ironman, triathlete and adventure racer Guy Andrews has been installed as a firm favourite for the BMW Celebrity Challenge by the bookmakers, ahead of Olympic Rowing champion James Tomkins, media personality Dermott Brereton and Olympic Ice skating Gold Medallist Steven Bradbury. The celebrity race this year is being promoted as the best of the best and all three favourites are former winners.
The book has been interesting to follow over the course of the week and thre results of the training sessions at the Sandown circuit have obviously been closely followed. Andrews is a former winner of the event in 1996 (after a fearsome battle with golfer Ian Baker Finch) and bookies have him as firm favourite at 2.5 (put a dollar on and get back $2.50 if he wins), ahead of former Oarsome Foursome member Tomkins who won the event 12 months ago at 4.5 and former Australian Rules champion Brereton who won in 1999 at 6.0.
During the course of the week dancer/actor Paul mercurio has drifted from 7s to 10s, Olympic Ice Skating Gold medallist Steven Bradbury has firmed from 9s to 8s, and Australian Football’s "Full back of the Century Steven Silvagni" has drifted from 13 to 15.
Of the females competing, Olympic swimming champion Petria Thomas retains top spot with odds of 20/1, although television presenter Michelle Walsh has firmed from 66/1 to 33/1 in the last two days.
Thomas is favoured to beat a host of male stars such as all-time great (and current world champion) boxer Kostya Tszyu at 25/1 and duelling media personalities Eddie McGuire (33/1) and Stephen Quartermain (33/1).
Interestingly, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer has firmed from 100/1 early in the week to share a line with former Skyhooks Bass player and ABC radio presenter Red Symons (both at 50/1).