Up Hill Jill’s triumphant homecoming

Up Hill Jill made a triumphant return to Sandown Park tonight, leading all of the way to win the first TAB Melbourne Cup Prelude.

A week after running an unlucky third in a heat of the group 1 Dapto Megastar, Up Hill Jill made her own luck by springing the lids and recording a slick 4.99 seconds to the first split to lead the field through the first turn. Despite getting a little tired in the run to the line, she showed her class by holding off Vens Revenge by half a length in 29.58. It was her fifth win at the circuit including the group 2 Laurels Classic last December.

“It was pleasing to bounce back after Dapto last week,” said winning trainer David Geall.

“She loves Sandown, just loves it. You just had the feeling leading up to it that she was going to jump well. She’s a joy to train and it’s good to bounce back in a Melbourne Cup Prelude.”

A remarkably consistent greyhound blessed with good early pace, the Prelude win was the 26th win of her 48 start career and took her prize money to $283,000, a figure that with a little luck could have been much higher. Since winning the Laurels, Up Hill Jill has contested seven group finals and ran second in six of them. Interestingly, five of those group finals have been in New South Wales with the Lara based trainer making 13 trips north of the border in 2017.

“Sometimes we think she’s had enough of the travelling, but she seems to love it, really thrives on it.

“She’s just a beauty, I’ll never get another one like her. I might get one faster, but not a better race dog, she’s a great race dog. She’s just Miss Professional.”

As big a thrill as winning the race was, the win came with an added bonus.

“It was great of the club to get Dane Swan here, I follow Collingwood and have done for 40 years. It was a real thrill to meet him.”

Dane Swan was at Sandown as part of the club’s Man’s Night activities that saw over $10,000 raised for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. It was also the final of the Club Challenge in which community clubs from around the state had the opportunity to share in thousands of dollars in prize money. Woori Yallock Football Netball Club were the biggest winners on the night, taking home $5000.

Later in the night, Blue Gum Hill took out the second TAB Melbourne Cup Prelude in 29.51. All Melbourne Cup Prelude winners secure a berth in the heats of the TAB Melbourne Cup on Friday 17 November, with the final of the world’s richest greyhound race to be run on Friday 24 November.

Click here for full results from tonight’s meeting.

Up Hill Jill (2) leads all of the way to claim TAB Melbourne Cup Prelude 1