Tommy Shelby To Miss Harrison-Dawson

SPRINTING powerhouse Tommy Shelby will be a shock omission from Thursday night’s heats of the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson (515m) at Sandown Park.

Adam Dobbin

10 May 2021

SPRINTING powerhouse Tommy Shelby will be a shock omission from Thursday night’s heats of the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson (515m) at Sandown Park.

The three-time Group 1 winner was to be on a plane to Melbourne from Perth on Monday morning before trainer Steve Withers elected to pull the pin on a tilt at the $100,000-to-the-winner series.

“He’s got a minor injury which needs a good two weeks off,” Withers said.

“It’s nothing major but the priority now is to get the injury right and look after the dog.”

At his most recent race start on May 1, Tommy Shelby finished two lengths second to boom WA sprinter Sunset Spitfire at Cannington in a sizzling 29.58.

It was the son of Fernando Bale’s first start since his epic victory in the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg (520m) at Wentworth Park in mid-April.

And while Tommy Shelby’s upcoming Victorian campaign has been thwarted, Withers has left the door ajar for a tilt at the Brisbane Winter Carnival, most notably the Group 1 Brisbane Cup (520m) at Albion Park in July.

“Providing he recovers like we expect from this injury Brisbane is definitely an option,” Withers said.

“But it really is a week at a time with him at the moment; he’s got nothing to prove to us or anyone else.

“We’ve been very lucky with injuries during his career so we’ll give this the time it needs.”

Winner at 29 of his 45 starts and a tick over $1 million in prize money, Tommy Shelby’s mesmerising first half to 2021 has seen him rocket to the top of the Australasian sprinting ranks.

Withers recently began drawing straws from the “People’s dog”, the regally bred sprinter set to mix racing with his blossoming stud career in the coming months.

“You’re a long time retired and while he’s showing the love and zest for racing he is he’ll race on,” Wither said. “He’ll tell us really.”

“But at the same time we’ll start collecting straws from him as well. The early response to him from breeders has been fantastic.”