Turmoil has engulfed the lead-up to Saturday night’s Golden Easter Egg Final with race favourite Wow forced to change kennels with less than 48 hours until the Group 1 showpiece.
On Thursday, the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC) moved to interim-suspend Wow’s owner/trainer Karina Britton after confirmation the son of Fernando Bale returned a positive swab following his Group 1 Paws Of Thunder victory in January.
The positive swab to a category one substance commands an automatic ban resulting in Britton given the option of either transferring the owning and training obligations of her star sprinter or being scratched from Saturday night’s $250,000-to-the-winner decider.
Following news of Britton’s suspension discussion was rife as to whether the race favourite would even assume his place in the star-studded field.
But late Thursday GWIC chief steward, Wade Birch, told Newscorp that the Commission had approved an application for Wow to be transferred into the full control of trainer Danielle Matic with immediate effect.
“The Commission can confirm that Golden Easter Egg finalist Wow has been transferred to trainer Danielle Matic,” Birch said.
“The Commission sought significant information and evidence and following receipt of that information was satisfied that the transfer of ownership is a genuine one.
“A condition of the transfer is that the greyhound (Wow) needs to be with Danielle Matic by 10am on Friday which the Commission will oversee.
“Another stipulation is that Ms Britton doesn’t attend Ms Matic’s residence or kennels at any point in time.”
Last Saturday night at Wentworth Park, Wow roared into the Golden Easter Egg Final with a brilliant 29.45 semi-final victory, a week on from taking out his heat in a sublime 29.38.
Those performances resulted in bookmakers installing the two-time Group 1 winner as a firm $2.60 favourite for Saturday night’s final just ahead of WA sensation Tommy Shelby at $2.80.
If Wow does salute in Saturday night’s Group 1 Golden Easter Egg he will do so amid extraordinary circumstances.
Thirty-five-year-old Karina Britton has been beside the star sprinter during every step of his glittering career but will be absent when the 19-time winner tackles his biggest assignment of all at Wentworth Park this Saturday night.
Five Group and Listed races will be decided on the mammoth 11-event program which gets underway at 6.27pm.
The time-honoured Golden Easter Egg – race eight of the night – goes at 8.54pm.
Originally published asGolden Easter Egg favourite in positive swab scandal
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