The Sunday Afternoon "Finish On"

WITH the Golden Easter Egg now complete, it’s hard to fathom the stress Karina Britton endured with Wow before his Group 1 assignment.

Peter Davis

11 April 2021

WITH the Golden Easter Egg carnival now complete, it’s hard to fathom the stress which Karina Britton endured with Wow forced to change kennel only 48 hours before a Group 1 assignment.

The rain which delayed week one of the series might have hindered some yet, in the end, it was the required change of kennel for Wow which mattered most.

Following the return of his confirmatory B Sample – taken after victory in the January 23 Paws Of Thunder at Wentworth Park – Wow was cleared to race in the Golden Easter Egg series following a drug free return to racing in the Richmond Derby heats on February 26.

He, however, was ineligible to contest the Richmond Derby Final and not until the ‘B’ Sample was returned did Karina Britton become ‘interim-suspended’.

Now that the dust has settled and Wow is with Ruth and Danielle Matic – where he was reared – time has come to reflect on the processes in place for the “Wow Factor”.

Resting: Wow at the Matic kennel after his gallant second to Tommy Shelby in the Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park. Pic supplied.

Under the rules of racing, Racing Analytical Services Ltd reports all positive swabs yet Wow’s level of metabolites to one of three banned substances was, wait for it, 0.00000000002 grams per ml … to the more educated .02 nanograms per ml.

There’s little doubt Wow’s positive swab was by means of inadvertent contact yet, on the structures in place, Karina Britton will lose the $75,000 winner’s purse for the Paws Of Thunder and the prospect of a Richmond Derby win ($40,000) was taken away.

Illicit drugs are commonplace and whether it be in a public bar, toilet facility, via bank notes or interpersonal contact, anybody can be exposed.

Police, doctors, nurses, teachers etc. are required to be drug free yet they function in workplaces which are often comprised by drug exposure.

And with such exposure, surely reporting levels for drug use for front line workers protects integrity and reputations … so why cannot it be the same for the racing industry?

Time has come for RASL to have a baseline level to determine inadvertent exposure as compared to administration.

Racing must be drug free. Swabbing protocols are in place to ensure integrity and incidence of illicit drugs in swabs is miniscule (something in the order of .01 per cent in NSW) yet Wow’s situation has brought extraordinary stress to all concerned.

ON THE MOVE

The adjudication of racing rules regarding marring and failing to pursue in Victoria continues to confuse with the antics of Ballarat 450m record holder Silver Lake at The Meadows on Saturday again drawing attention.

“Acting under the provisions of GAR 69B (1), Silver Lake was charged with failing to pursue the lure with due commitment (by reason of injury).”

Maybe, just maybe, the addition of former Queensland Racing and Integrity Commission Chief Greyhound Steward Alex Kitching and his Deputy Andrew Spence to the Greyhound Racing Victoria panel might provide new perspective.

Each have resigned from QRIC and are set to take up roles with Greyhound Racing Victoria.

Kitching will conclude his QRIC role next month and commence work at GRV as the Deputy Chief Steward in June. While Mr Spence will finish at the end April and commence at GRV as the Senior Steward of the Central Region in May.

Recruitment for the two QRIC roles commences shortly and, hopefully, Alex Kitching will have time to wrap up the inquiry into the “Rake 8” saga at Townsville on March 30 before his departure.

STRAIGHT AHEAD

In two weeks, the new Richmond straight track will have conducted their first meeting.

While attaining the same prizemoney as a provincial meeting, the country grading policy is in place. That is, a win up the straight at Richmond will not impact on a dog’s grade at a provincial class meeting.

A full calendar is in place for this season and, on day one, maiden heats, a Masters race(s) and a top-grade contest have been advertised.

It’s understood maiden heats will be fare weekly as will Masters events with M1 class events will be included fortnightly.

Impressive to the eye is the Richmond straight track and, racing four times a week, it vies with Albion Park as the busiest circuit in the land.

Nominations numbers in similar situations (country grading for provincial prizemoney in NSW) has seen Taree and Wauchope flourish and expectation is that Richmond will be particularly busy on Saturday mornings from April 24.

LOW TECH

The recent deluge which delayed the Golden Easter Egg carnival and forced the abandonment of other meetings highlighted one aspect of track preservation which seems very simple.

Some time back, Dapto used a so called “snake” as a barrier to prevent washout to the inside section of the Showgrounds track.

Such was the volume rain, there might have been no prospect of saving a meeting last month yet tarpaulins and sand bags (or Dapto’s snake) can certainly mitigate track damage.

The Lismore track, built on an eddy of the Wilsons River, has been disaffected by floods on a number of occasions and the club has protocol in place for rising waters.

Why not have low tech protection capacity in place at all venues?

GALAXY OF STARS

The box draw for the Sky Channel Perth Cup and Galaxy will be conducted on Monday a little after 1pm (WA time).

The Cup’s depth, quality wise, was certainly compromised by the delay of the Golden Easter Egg and the Ballarat Cup being conducted twice in just six months.

Usually, eight Cup heats are programmed but only seven this time and even then, lower graded sprinters were making up the numbers.

As ever, the draw will be critical yet the early speed lies with Canya Cruise and Rippin’ Memphis and both are best drawn on the inside.

The Galaxy is less dependent on the draw with Zack Monelli certain to start favourite regardless of his grid position. He posted a career best 41.40 in his 14 ½ lengths heat win, qualifying .25s quicker than Sunset Bourbski.

The fly in the ointment is former Victorian Jayville Slick which won his heat in 41.68.  The pecking order is cut and dried: Zack Monelli- Sunset Bourbski- Jayville Slick.

Should Sunset Bourbski draw an outside alley, her stocks will rise yet clear running through a ‘full field’ is always problematic and Zack’s off-and-gone pattern makes her task over so much tougher.

Twelve months back, Zack Monelli was a certainty beaten when second to Simon Told Helen in the Perth Cup and, after recuperation from a hock injury, his time in the sun is neigh.