NSW excitement machine Pindari Express tasted the first defeat of his career when making his Victorian debut in a heat of the Group 3 St Leger (460m) at Warragul on Tuesday, but he did enough to qualify for Sunday’s prestigious $25,000 to-the-winner final.
Jumping out last from box seven, Pindari Express crossed to the rail but couldn’t get a clear crack at Chief’s Empire, with the dual Group 1 finalist showing his customary early pace and leading all the way in 25.78sec.
Four heats were conducted on Tuesday, with the first two placegetters making it through to Sunday’s final, in which Pindari Express – a winner of his first six starts including track records at Bulli and Maitland – will exit box 8.
The first St Leger heat was won by Aston Kimetto (Seona Thompson), a son of former champion stayer Sweet It Is who – like his mum did so many times throughout her spectacular career – came from the clouds to win his heat in eye-catching fashion and record a best of night 25.69sec.
Juniper Pearl (Brett Mackie) began brilliantly and held off Group 1 winning superstar My Redeemer to win her heat, while the other heat was won by last month’s Bendigo Cup runner-up Black Forge.
Warragul Greyhound Racing Club Manager, Adrian Scott is delighted with the quality of greyhounds involved in the 2018 St Leger series, in particular the inclusion of Pindari Express.
“Pindari Express is possibly one of the hottest young greyhounds in Australia,” Scott told RSN’s Off The Leash. “He is owned and trained by Tracey Scruse from NSW, who is a third-generation trainer.”
“Surprisingly, Tracey has never trained a city winner, and she has been very cautious about mapping out Pindari Express’ campaign in terms of his introduction into open company. Fortunately for us, the entry conditions for the St Leger fitted in nicely with Tracey’s plans,” Scott added.
The St Leger is an age-restricted event open only to greyhounds born on or after 1 April, 2016, giving young greyhounds the chance to compete for lucrative prize money against contenders of similar age.
The series is carrying Group 3 status for the first time in 2018, with Sunday’s final to be supported by another feature event – the Presidents Cup (680m). However, it is not just about the exciting racing action on Sunday, with former Warragul GRC President Garry Allen to be recognised for his outstanding contribution to the club over a 25-year period.
“It’s a free-entry night and we’ve got a special meal offer that includes a free meal for kids, so anyone looking for a pleasant Sunday night I’d suggest that the Warragul Greyhound Racing Club is the place to be,” Scott said.
ST LEGER HEATS
WATCH: Aston Kimetto (box five) win the opening heat of the St Leger over Emerald Rainbow (box eight).
WATCH: Juniper Pearl (box six) defeated My Redeemer (box four) in heat two of the Warragul St Leger.
WATCH: Black Forge (box three) win heat three of the Warragul St Leger over Nervous An Weird (box seven).
WATCH: Chief’s Empire (box one) hand NSW Star Pindari Express (box seven) his first defeated in the highly anticipated heat four of the Warragul St Leger on Tuesday night.
FULL RESULTS: CLICK HERE
2018 GROUP 3 ST LEGER
Warragul, Sunday, 12 August
460 metres – First prize: $25,000
1 EMERALD RAINBOW (David Geall, Lara VIC)
2 MY REDEEMER (David Geall, Lara VIC)
3 BLACK FORGE (Darren Sultana, Londonderry NSW)
4 CHIEF’S EMPIRE (Darren Brown, Lara VIC)
5 ASTON KIMETTO (Seona Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
6 JUNIPER PEARL (Brett Mackie, Tooradin VIC)
7 NERVOUS AN WEIRD (Ashlee Terry, Cranbourne South VIC)
8 PINDARI EXPRESS (Tracey Scruse, Chifley NSW)
9 FERNANDO DRUMS (David Geall, Lara VIC)
10 BREAKOUT (Graham James, Woodleigh VIC)