Pindari Express enhanced his reputation as one of Australia's fastest greyhounds with a barnstorming finish which carried him to victory in Saturday night's Group 2 Ladbrokes Cyril Rowe Bulli Gold Cup final.
The Tracey Scruse-trained Pindari Express came from third on the home bend to run down Victorian speedster Nervous An Weird, covering the 472m in 26.16sec.
Those figures were just .21sec outside the race record set last year by Ritza Lenny, but were full of merit considering the track was rain-affected.
Pindari Express has not raced beyond 472m but Scruse is now considering stepping the dog up to 500m plus.
"In his only two trials beyond 500m, Pindari Express clocked 29.85sec over 520m at Wentworth Park and 29.45 over 515m at Sandown, Melbourne,'' Scruse said.
"The Group 1 Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park in April is now an option but before then I will have to see how Pindari Express handles being in a full field over the 520m trip there.''
Pindari Express' win on Saturday lived up to rival trainer Ron Marsden's lofty opinion of Scruse's greyhound.
Before the race Marsden told The Dogs website: "My Cup finalist Hardaway Harada is a smart dog but he is not in the league of Pindari Express, who, when he begins cleanly, is the fastest dog I've seen since the great Brett Lee back in the early 2000s.''
As usual Pindari Express travelled from his kennel in Sydney's eastern suburbs to Bulli with seven-year-old retired greyhound 'Angel', who raced as Serious Type.
"Angel is Pindari Express' best mate and they go everywhere together,'' Scruse said.
"As always, I pulled up at a McDonalds on the way home from Bulli and treated them both to a soft serve, their favourite treat.''
Meanwhile in Melbourne on Saturday night, Michael Eberand's wonderful stayer Ebby Ripper charged into yet another group 1 final by taking out a heat of the Fanta Bale Super Stayers' series over 725m at The Meadows.
Ebby Ripper came from fourth on the back straight to win running away in 42.47sec, while champion Melbourne-trained but NSW-owned Tornado Tears set the time standard at 41.96.
Blue Moon Rising, trained in Sydney by John Finn, won the other heat in 42.70.
"Ebby Ripper has drawn box eight in next Saturday night's $100,000 to the winner final but I never worry about what box she draws,'' Eberand said.
"Because of the way she races, tending to get back in the field, everything depends on what sort of runs she gets.
"I was surprised at how well she railed at The Meadows on Saturday and how close she got to the leading division in the middle stages.
"Because Ebby Ripper is getting on in years I had been looking to dodge the likes of Tornado Tears and find easier races for her.
"But I had been unable to do so and that's why she was entered for the Super Stayers heats.
"Next Saturday night will mark close to 30 group final appearances for Ebby Ripper but while she has been placed at group 1 level, she has not yet won one.''
Melinda Finn, whose husband John trains Blue Moon Rising and Sydney's champion stayer Poco Dorado, said: "In the final next Saturday they have drawn boxes seven and two respectively but it would have been far better had their boxes been reversed.
"Even so, I don't think any of us can beat Tornado Tears in the final, he is just too good!''
* Photo courtesy of Lachlan from Redden Photo Video.