By Isaac Murphy
Trainer Darren Russell knows his bitch Snug is a sprinter going places and has a carefully planned racing schedule to get the best out of his last start 29.70 winner at Albion Park.
Snug jumps from the two box in the eighth event at Albion Park on Thursday night, an assignment Russell is confident she can handle given her recent form.
“She ran 29.7 around Albion last time out, which she’s also done on a couple of other occasions so that’s about her go,” Russell said.
“When she produces that she’s always going to be really competitive, she beat a good field home last start with a couple of group winners including Miss Splendamiro who has won at Wentworth Park since, so she’s going well.”
“I just want to see her jump to the front, if she can lead she’ll win.”
It’s been three weeks between races for Snug but Russell has taken the time to fine tune his chaser for upcoming challenges.
“We’re going to The Gardens Friday week for the Black Top,” Russell said.
“She’s had a three week layoff from racing in preparation, but we took her down to the Gardens and trialled her and she went really well.”
“She’s not necessarily the type of dog who travels very well so it was a bit of a relief to see her handle it well.”
Russell said he chose to leave Snug out of the Nationals mix due to past experiences at Sandown Park.
“We chose to bypass the Nationals because we’ve had her down in Melbourne a couple of times and her form’s been pretty poor down there,” he said.
“Keeping her confidence up is the biggest thing with her, she’s gone through a few ups and downs in her career when I’ve sent her away to different tracks and kennels she’s lost her way a bit.”
“It took her a bit of time to get over that so that’s why I gave her a freshen up and have given her a couple of trials and it’s worked out well.”
Russell said his three year old was getting better all the time and identified Australia’s richest greyhound race the Million Dollar Chase at Wentworth Park on October 20 as Snug’s grand final.
“She’s improving all the time that bitch, the next six months will be really big for her hopefully," he said.
“We’ve got that million dollar race coming up so I’ve got to figure out where I should take her to qualify.
“Lismore, Grafton, Maitland and the Gardens are all closer than Wentworth Park, so that’ll be the next decision.”
Russell also suits up another promising chaser in Yeah Okay in the last of Thursday night’s card.
The consistent chaser has been luckless placing in his last four starts at the track and distance, but Russell believes he may have found a suitable race for him.
“His box manners let him down, he’s a very fast dog I’ve tried jump outs with him at home but he just doesn’t seem to convert it to the track,” he said.
“Hopefully it clicks all one day because he’s got a bit motor that dog, he’s got brilliant mid race speed, I think it’s a pretty winnable race Thursday night.”