Edwards’ moment to savour

Russell Edwards soaked up a moment he’ll never forget at Sandown Park last night – one of great achievement and significant sentimental value.

Not only did Riptide Ruslie claim Edwards’ first win on a Thursday night, but it was a quinella with litter brother Bruce’s Ruslie.

“I don’t know how to sum it up. I haven’t slept all night thinking about it and wondering where I’ll go with them next,” said Edwards.

A great achievement which also had a strong element of sentimental value. Bruce’s Ruslie is named after a close mate of Edward’s who passed away in January last year.

“Bruce was diagnosed with prostate cancer 5-6 years ago. We used to go to the dogs together but then COVID hit and he couldn’t go anymore. He got really sick and eventually passed away.

“The last conversation I had with him was over the phone with his wife. I told him I’m going to name my next dog after you – he wasn’t able to respond but had tear run down his face.”

Half of Bruce’s Ruslie’s prize money will be donated to prostate cancer research.

The litter brothers are a result of Edwards’ ambition and dedication. After years of owning greyhounds he decided to start training them in 2017.

“I sort of fell into training. I owned dogs with my son for years but eventually thought I was capable of training them myself.

“Tarree’s Ruslie was the first one I trained. Our first start together was a win at Healesville – the penny dropped and I knew this is something I really enjoy.”

Vis Vitae was the second greyhound Edwards trained – the mother of Riptide Ruslie and Bruce’s Ruslie. He acquired her from friend and fellow trainer Peter Presutto.

“When she got to the end of her career people asked why don’t I breed with her, so I did and that was the first litter I bred.”

As the involvement with greyhounds grew as did the difficult work-life balance. Edwards spent 40 years with Woolworths and was the manager at various stores.

“It was very hard. I’d get up at 4.30am to walk the dog, go to work and when I got back walk the dog again. I couldn’t have done it without my wife Julie – she’s been the backbone.”

He retired from work in October last year.

“It was just that time of life and I wanted to do the right thing by the dogs.”

Earlier in the night Brett Hunter claimed his first city win as a trainer with Black Pink in the Maiden final. He’s shared success with father Alan in recent years but now has his own name on the board of city winners.

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Riptide Ruslie (4) defeats Bruce's Ruslie (2) in a fast 33.98
Jason Adams
About Jason Adams - Racing Operations Coordinator at Sandown Park. Over 8 years involvement in greyhound racing and one of the sport's biggest and most passionate fans.
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