Title defence on for Aussie trotter

By Adam Hamilton 

Classy Aussie trotter Tough Monarch is booked to defend his crown in the $95,000 Group 1 NZ Trotting free-for-all (1980m) on Cup Day at Addington.

Trainer Rickie Alchin has his stable star is tentatively booked a flight from Sydney to Auckland on October 25 and he’ll head down to Christchurch from there.

With all the challenges of COVID-19, Alchin will entrust the training team of Nathan Purdon and Chrissy Dalgety with Tough Monarch.

“I’ll go if I possibly can, but it seems very, very unlikely that will work out,” Alchin said.

“I’ve got him where I want him and going back (to Christchurch) has always been the plan.

“I was thrilled with his run last weekend. We’ll give it a crack again and see how we go.”

Tough Monarch was third-up from a break when he finished strongly for third to Pink Galahs and Dance Craze in the Group 1 Bill Collins Sprint at Melton last Saturday night.

“He had to come deep when they were really sprinting hard up front and still kept coming. He ran his last half in 56.3sec. It was a terrific run,” Alchin said.

If all falls into place, Alchin’s next task will be locking-in a driver for both the NZ Free-For-All and the Dominion.

“We haven’t got that far yet,” he said. “We’re just hoping the flight goes as planned on the 25th and we work things out from there.”

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