Queenslander Darren Russell and his greyhound Tripum (pictured) are one of four interstate greyhounds looking to break a 14-year drought that has seen Victorian greyhounds dominate the richest greyhound race in the country, the Group One $600,000 TAB Melbourne Cup.
“The prestige of the Melbourne Cup is what brought us over here, it’s very exciting to be a part of,” Tripum’s trainer Darren Russell explained.
Tripum demanded notice from Victorian racing enthusiasts after an impressive heat win on Friday night at Sandown Park which saw him compete against some of Victoria’s best chasers in Fanta Bale, American Monster and Aqua Cheeta. Recording a time of 29.524sec, with a 5.09sec split to the first mark, Tripum was just over three lengths slower than his first start at Sandown the week before, where is stopped the clock at 29.33sec breaking five seconds in the first sectional.
“Being a front runner really helps in a race like the Melbourne Cup, Tripum has been flying lately so I thought it was only fitting to try for the Melbourne Cup,”
“He played up a bit in the kennels last week, so I am hoping for improvement in the Cup.”
19 wins and 11 minor placings into a 42-start career has seen Tripum take home $129,825 in prize money which was aided by his first group victory in the Group Two $54,000 Lismore Cup in October.
Darren believes Zambora Brockie is the dog to beat in the $600,000 feature. There may be a little more than just race rivalry between Zambora Brockie and Tripum, who have become kennel mates for the Melbourne Cup campaign after Anthony Azzopardi provided the Queensland duo a kennel and bed.
“I have been sleeping with one eye open,” Darren laughed.
“Zambora Brockie is the class greyhound in the field, I just have to hope Tripum can get out in front and get clear running.”