Queensland trainer Darren Russell was heavily involved in last year’s TAB Melbourne Cup having put the polish on finalist Tripum. He returns this year with litter sisters Fab Fit and Snug who are engaged in tonight’s final Prelude series.
“It’s very exciting to be back in Melbourne at this time of the year,” said Russell.
Hailing from Innisplain in Queensland, Russell and his charges’ arrived in Victoria yesterday and will stay with fellow trainer and good friend Anthony Azzopardi.
After been apart of the festivities and formalities of last year’s Cup, Russell says there’s nothing that compares to it.
“It was the first time I’ve ever been down for the series. It was great, there’s nothing like a Melbourne Cup week.”
Russell is hopeful ahead of tonight’s Preludes despite having drawn awkwardly, with Fab Fit and Snug to jump from boxes 5 and 4 respectively.
“They’ve got very good box manners and that’s the main reason why I’ve brought them down. They’re usually faultless beginners and settling upfront in races of this caliber is vital.”
In recent weeks Queenslanders have made their presence felt here in Victoria, with Thirty Talks winning the Geelong Cup and three of their top sprinters trialing between races last Thursday night. Russell says the support from up North is strong.
“The Queenslanders keep a close eye on those racing interstate. People are always wishing good luck.”
Each winner of tonight’s Preludes will gain an automatic berth in next week’s TAB Melbourne Cup heats, which promises to be the year’s best night of greyhound racing.
Western Australian sprinter Equanimity will trial after race 3 (515m) tonight in preparation for the Cup, while Queenslander Champagne Sally will trial after race 2 (715m) in preparation for the Bold Trease. Both trials will be streamed live via @sandowndogs
Click here for tonight’s fields