Worried Withers Readies For Tommy's Return

TRAINER Steve Withers admits to being somewhat worried about the return to racing at Cannington on Saturday night of his track giant Tommy Shelby.

David Brasch

18 August 2021

STEVE Withers admits to being worried about the return to racing at Cannington on Saturday night of his track giant Tommy Shelby.

Not that he has any doubts about the son of Fernando Bale and Serena Fly High going into the 520m free for all despite it being stacked with high class sprinters.

With a career of 29 wins and $1 million in the bank from Group 1 wins in the Golden Easter Egg, Australian Cup and Hobart Thousand, Tommy Shelby has class stacked on his side.

“Coming back to the races for the first time after such a long break I expect him to fizz up bad on race night,” he said.

Tommy Shelby has not raced since finishing second to Sunset Spitfire at Cannington on May 1. It was his first start after winning the Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park on April 10.

Withers was so concerned he had initially considered asking club officials to allow him a race night exhibition trial.

“That way he would go through the race night routine,” he said.

Withers has no concern with Tommy in regards to fitness.

“He has trialled well in preparation for his return, but he is not 500 metre race fit at this stage,” he said. “There is nothing wrong with the motor.


“But having box one may not help his cause either. He will get fizzed up hearing the lure coming as well.”

Withers has great respect for his rivals on Saturday night.

“The depth in top grade in WA is very good and the first three from the state final of the National Sprint are up against him,” he said.

“My hope is that he gets around safe and pulls up well and sound.

“There are quite a few races coming up here for him in the next couple of months, like the Sprint Gift and the Westbred series. But the Adelaide Cup is on the radar as well.

“A lot of questions will be answered by his performance on Saturday night.”

Withers says Tommy will know all day on Saturday he will be going racing that night.

“He knows the routine of race day,” he said.