Wow Disqualified From Group 1 Paws Of Thunder

WINLOCK On Top has been elevated to winner of the Paws Of Thunder after Wow was officially disqualified from the Group 1 showpiece on Friday.

Adam Dobbin

31 October 2021

WINLOCK On Top has been elevated to winner of the Paws Of Thunder after Wow was officially disqualified from the Group 1 showpiece on Friday.

Wow was a two-length winner of the $75,000-to-the-winner event back in January only for news to break in the lead up to April’s Golden Easter Egg series that the son of Fernando Bale had returned a positive swab to cocaine.

That led to Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Stewards (GWIC) placing an interim-suspension on Wow’s owner-trainer Karina Britton which led to Britton parting ways with her star sprinter to new owner-trainer Danielle Matic.

On Friday, GWIC finalised their long running inquiry into the matter where Britton was handed a 12-month disqualification with almost half of that time already served under interim-suspension.

Read more: Swab Irregularity From Group 1 Sensation

Adjudicating on the penalty decision which will see Britton return in April 2022 was Chief Commissioner Alan Brown and fellow Commissioner Peter Collins.

“A 20-month disqualification was initially proposed which with an early guilty plea was brought down to 15-months,” a GWIC statement read.

“The decision makers then determined that the submissions made on Miss Britton’s behalf were such that they warranted a further reduction from the 15-month disqualification in order to properly reflect Miss Britton’s factors in mitigation.

“They were that the greyhound was, and continues to be, a very successful greyhound, having won substantial sums of prizemoney whilst trained by Miss Britton. Whilst Miss Britton is a hobby trainer, she is a very successful one.

“The submissions made in relation to her personal circumstances were considered genuine and given significant weight also.”

The disqualification of Wow from the Paws Of Thunder will see Britton forfeit the $75,000 first prize which was declared as another mitigating factor.

“As is the case in many presentation offences, the means to how the greyhound came to have a permanently banned prohibited substance in its system are not known,” the statement read.

Read more: Swab Result – 0.00000000002 grams per ml

“Miss Britton could only speculate as to the reasons but quite fairly, does not advance any speculative defence.

“In Miss Britton’s favour is that she has been a trainer for approximately 18 years and has no relevant prior disciplinary history.

“The character references provided place Miss Britton in very high regard within the industry and within her workplace outside the industry.”

Evidence tendered detailed that the level of cocaine and ecgonine methyl ester detected in the swab were in the low range.

The level of tetramisole was in the medium range while the levels of lignocaine and 3-hydroxylignocaine were in the high range.

“Importantly, the level of benzoylecgonine was the ‘highest detected in a canine urine sample in this Laboratory’,” the statement added.

None of the substances detected have a threshold level.  

The disqualification of Wow sees the Jodie Lord-trained Winlock On Top elevated to the winner of the Paws Of Thunder.

Zulu Warlord moves from third to second while Fire Legend moves from fourth to third.

Wow, a brilliant winner of his second Goulburn Cup last weekend, steps out next Saturday night at The Meadows in the Group 1 Topgun.