Top conditioner Ray Webster will restrict classy sprinter Go Oro to home duties in preparation for the Dapto Puppy Classic, with the rich final officially postponed yesterday.
Greyhound racing powerbrokers confirmed a lack of nominations for tomorrow night's program will force the final to be run on December 20 - almost a month after the series started.
A section of the state's trainers are refusing to nominate their dogs for a two-week period in protest over what they perceive as an inequitable funding agreement in place with the other two racing codes.
Having qualified three runners for the $75,000-to-the-winner decider, Webster has the most to lose from the postponement, which has thrown his carefully hatched training plans into disarray.
But the Cawdor-based trainer said he had already given thought to how he will tinker with his plans, including a light workload for Go Oro.
"I'll probably just keep him on the walking machine and free-gallop him at home," Webster said.
"The other two [Jay Bee Rock and Where's Wob] will have a couple of sprints up Appin including one on Saturday, just to keep the fitness there.
"We don't want to push them over the top, but they'll be restricted to straight work anyway."
Webster's hopes of upstaging series favourites Magic Fancy and Winsome Charlee were dealt a blow at the box draw with the rails-hugging Go Oro posted out in box five.
Where's Wob (four) and Jay Bee Rock (eight) were also only fairly drawn.
While nominating Where's Wob as his top pick for the final, Webster put the detractors of the maturing Jay Bee Rock on notice. The dog will line up for just his eighth start in the Group 2 final.
"He's the improver in the field, in my opinion; he's just lacking a bit of experience," Webster said.
"He's a nice young dog who is capable of stepping it up a notch and being competitive, provided he gets a bit of luck in the run."
Dapto Greyhound Racing Club secretary Paul Mack said his organisation wasn't worried about the unavoidable three-week gap between the semi-finals and final.
"It should be a big meeting with the school holidays starting, which should make up for us missing the two weeks."
DAPTO PUPPY CLASSIC
Dapto Showground, Princes Highway, Dapto
Thursday, December 20
Box draw: 1 Booze Hound, 2 Toots, 3 Magic Fancy, 4 Where’s Wob, 5 Go Oro, 6 Winsome Charlee, 7 Dark Assassin, 8 Jay Bee Rock.