Time Called: The Freight Train Retires To Stud

THE career of Pindari Express has drawn to a close with Tracey Scruse retiring her star galloper after his winning Bulli Gold Cup defence on Saturday night.

Adam Dobbin

27 February 2020

THE remarkable racing career of Pindari Express has drawn to a close with Tracey Scruse electing to retire her star galloper following his successful Group 2 Bulli Gold Cup defence on Saturday night.

“It’s the perfect way for him to finish,” beamed a proud Scruse.

“It all started for him at Bulli and to finish up by becoming the first dog to win two Bulli Gold Cups – and to do it the way he did – is the ideal way for him to retire. As a family we couldn’t be any prouder of him.”

Victorious at 18 of his 32 starts, and placed on another 10 occasions, Pindari Express, or Charlie as he’s more affectionately known, retires as one of the most gifted chasers the sport’s seen in its rich history.

To put it simply, he could do things and run times few thought possible, attributes that will launch what’s anticipated to be a spectacular career at stud.

“I think it’s sometimes lost a bit just what a ferocious chaser he is,” Scruse said.

“He gives you 110 percent whether it’s in a group race final or a hand-slip at Bankstown slipping track. He’s got a wonderful conformation and laid back temperament – when you look at his rump you know where all that power comes from.”

For Scruse, it seems like just yesterday that Pindari Express made his debut at Bulli in May, 2018, powering away for a flying 22.18 maiden success over the 400 metres, equaling Barcia Bale’s track record in the process.

It was a performance that had racing fans abuzz, greyhound racing’s brightest young star had hit the scene, creating a huge impression.

The son of Fabregas and Brook’s Doll went on to win his first six starts in best of meeting times, included in those victories a then track record run at Maitland over the 450 metres of 24.59.

To put that performance into context, the next best time on the program was 25.24 … on a cold winter’s night.

Following the unblemished start to his career, Scruse headed south with Charlie to contest the Group 3 Warragul St. Leger series, finishing a gallant second to Aston Kimetto in the final.

“That was his first trip away from home … what a race that turned out to be,” Scruse said.

“Behind Charlie in the final was My Redeemer who went on to win the Melbourne Cup, Black Forge who won the Maitland Cup, Emerald Rainbow who won a Goulburn Cup and Nervous An Weird who won a group race as well.”

Not surprisingly, 16 of Charlie’s 18 wins were in best of meeting times, included in those performances his remarkable 21.93 track record run at Bulli over the 400 metres last February.

At each of his blistering wins he’d leave racegoers mesmerised with his withering run home sectionals, setting new benchmarks almost everywhere he went.

Last October, Pindari Express made the final of the TAB Million Dollar Chase at Wentworth Park, a track he posted a scintillating 29.41 at when winning a heat of the Golden Easter Egg last April.

“In the regional final of the Million Dollar Chase at Bulli he beat home dogs like Whiskey Riot, Premium Share and Western Envoy – it was a great race,” Scruse said.

“He proved time and time again he could match and beat the best.”

Scruse says she’s been grappling with the idea of retiring Pindari Express since December, but after his barnstorming 26.07 Gold Cup success on Saturday night, the decision became a rather easy one.

“I had in the back of my mind that if he won on Saturday night that would be it for his racing,” Scruse said.

“It’s the right time. He’s almost four and he’s got nothing left to prove to me. We could have gone to the Maitland Cup in a few weeks but I’m happy with the decision.” 

And as for Charlie’s prospects at stud?

“I might be biased but he’s got everything you could ask for in my opinion,” Scruse said.

“He wasn’t over-raced, is wonderfully bred, is a great looker and never had any major injuries.”

For Tracey and father Jack, their ride with the freight train over the past two years has been a life changer.

“Yes, he’s a once in a lifetime dog that’s given us so many great memories,” Scruse said.

“It’s mixed emotions. In a way it’s sad that his racing days are over but we’re really looking forward to the next chapter with him at stud.

“Dad taught me a long time ago that if you look after the dog, they will look after you in return. With Charlie, that’s definitely been the case.”