AUSTRALIA'S richest 400m classic has drawn a quality field to contest this weekend's Bendigo Bank Black Opal at the Bendigo International Madison carnival.
Another highlight of the two-day carnival at the Tom Flood Sports Centre will be the Flack Advisory Black Pearl 400m for women.
Heats for both 400m classics will be run at Saturday's women's night promotion.
An exciting athletics card includes the City of Greater Bendigo Thousand 120m sprint.
The finale to the athletics action will be Sunday's running of the WIN Television backmarkers mile at 7.25pm.
Brenton Rowe will race off scratch and concede 45m to his nearest rival and 150m to six off limit.
Saturday's athletics timetable:
12.05: Shamrock Hotel 70m heats. 12.52: Gold & Opal Club women's 120m heats. 1.18: VRTA 120m junior handicap heats.
1.47: City of Greater Bendigo Thousand 120m heats. 2.22: Sportzbiz Novice 400m heats. 2.42: Ray Foley Memorial 800m heats. 3pm: Bendigo Advertiser frontmarkers 800m heats.
3.20pm: City of Greater Bendigo veterans 300m heats. 3.44pm: Hilson Builders Sally Conroy Memorial 200m heats.
4pm: Shamrock Hotel 70m semis. 4.14: Flack Advisory Black Pearl women's 400m heats. 4.30: VRTA junior 120m final.
First of the cycling events is at 5pm.
The athletics program resumes at 5.56pm when the Shamrock Hotel 70m final is run.
5.59pm: Flack Advisory Richard Kitt Memorial 1500m. 6.35pm: Veterans 300m final. 6.40: Bendigo Bank Black Opal 400m heats. 7.42: Sportzbiz novice 400m final.
8pm: Bendigo Advertiser frontmarkers 800m final. 8.12: Ray Foley Memorial 800m final.
Sunday's program begins with the cycling at 2.25pm.
First of the athletics events is the Sally Conroy Memorial 200m final at 4.20pm.
5.45: Bendigo Thousand 120m semis. 6.15pm: Black Opal 400m semis. 6.40: Bendigo Thousand 120m final. 7.10: Black Pearl women's 400m final. 7.15: Black Opal 400m final. 7.25: WIN TV backmarkers mile.