No Hobart Thousand Defence For Tommy Shelby

CHAMPION WA sprinter Tommy Shelby will not return to defend his Group 1 Hobart 1000 title when the series kicks off in Hobart on Thursday week.

David Brasch

30 November 2021

CHAMPION Tommy Shelby will not return to defend his Group 1 Hobart 1000 title.

Part-owner and trainer Steve Withers announced on Tuesday that the great son of Fernando Bale-Serena Fly High had returned to WA after his trip to Victoria for the Melbourne Cup with a couple of minor injuries.

“It is nothing serious or long term,” said Steve. “But he won’t be Hobart bound. If he is going to race again, we will have a very thorough lead up for him.”

Withers said the injuries were just minor but enough for the dog to need three weeks off.

Tommy Shelby was flown to Victorian trainer Kel Greenough for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup heats at Sandown on November 19.

He started the $2.70 favourite in the heat but was never out of trouble finishing seventh behind Tiberia Bale.

Tommy Shelby won last year’s Hobart 1000 in 25.55 beating Tiggerlong Tonk and Sprint Gordon, one of his Group 1 victories to add to the Australian Cup and Golden Easter Egg.

Tommy Shelby, winner of 31 races and $1.02 million, has been hugely popular with broodbitch owners since Withers started collecting him some months ago.

The lure to retire Tommy Shelby full time to stud is ever present. “We are in the mid 50s of bitches to have whelped or be confirmed in pup,” said Steve.

“If we are to race on, he would need to have a few starts at home first before going anywhere. There are not many immediate targets for him.”