Withers: No Room For Error In Brisbane Cup Quest

WA trainer Steve Withers knows exactly what it takes to win a Group 1 and he knows no dog can make a mistake in the heats of such a race.

David Brasch

29 June 2022

WA trainer Steve Withers knows exactly what it takes to win a Group 1 having trained superstar Tommy Shelby, and he knows only too well no dog can make a mistake in the heats of such a race.

Withers has Panama Pepper and Eagle Monelli going into the heats of the Group 1 Brisbane Cup (520m) at Albion Park on Thursday night and both take a tough ask against the toughest of opposition.

Panama Pepper, twice a 29.60s winner in three starts at Albion Park, has drawn the three in his heat and comes up against Good Odds Cash coming straight off a Richmond Oaks victory in track record time.

Eagle Monelli, also a last start Albion Park winner and in 29.97, has drawn the eight and meets local star Orchestrate and classy visitor Zara’s Ivan.

“The heats are very deep,” said Withers. “None of us can make any mistakes. It’s Group 1 racing.”

Panama Pepper was luckless when among the hot fancies for the Group 2 Flying Amy Classic two starts back but “smashed” his head on the lids at the start.

It ruined his chances finishing last behind Victorian Photo Man the winner running 29.77 a length slower than the 29.65 Panama Pepper had run to win his heat.

“He was a little bit wary last week after hitting his head but he came out OK,” said Withers of the 29.63 victory over Shipwreck.

Withers has been staying at Churchable with Jamie Hoskings and has been there for the past five weeks.

“We’ll be going home after this series and hopefully being away from Cannington and going so well here will give Panama Pepper more confidence when he goes home to Cannington,” he said.

“Eagle Monelli is a very good dog, not really a Group 1 dog but not far off.

“Both dogs are drawn perfectly.”

WITHERS produced youngster Anchor Rope (My Redeemer-Miss Barmey) to scorch to victory on Wednesday in a heat of the Mick Byrne Memorial Novice (520m) in 29.75 at his Albion Park debut.

He had won a maiden at Cannington back in April but had been dogged by wide box draws there since.

Off the two box on Wednesday he scored by a length and a quarter over Ride The Thunder.

The Mick Byrne Memorial is worth $25,000 and the final will be run on July 7.

Other heat winners were Rocky Lorry in 30.14, Rapid Ripple in 29.94 and Bartel Hayze in 30.03.

Mick Byrne Memorial Novice Final (in box draw): 1 Dayseas’ Rowdy, 2 Bartel Hayze, 3 Rocky Lorry, 4 Hara’s Pearl, 5 Adulate, 6 Rapid Ripple, 7 Anchor Rope, 8 Ride The Thunder. Res: 9 Showpiece, 10 Hara’s Herbie.