Tough task for Aussie

NSW trainer Rickie Alchin always knew the enormity of the challenge facing his stable star Tough Monarch at Addington, but it a little more daunting after he watched Ashburton yesterday (Monday).

It’s fair to say Marcoola and Oscar Bonavena certainly made big statements at Ashburton.

“Yes, I saw them … both,” Alchin said. “But, as I’ve said before, you have to focus on your horse and you shouldn’t miss a big race because you’re worried about one or two rivals.

“What I’ll say is I really believe I’ve never had Tough Monarch better. His work last Sunday was absolutely exceptional.

“He’s heading across at his absolute best.”

Alchin was due to accompany Tough Monarch on a flight to NZ last night.

“It’s a bit earlier than I thought, but the only other option was November 4 and that was a bit close to a trial I want to give him over there,” he said.

“I want him to go around in those Cup trials at Addington on the 6th (of November).”

Alchin confirmed the plan was to tackle both the free-for-all on Cup Day and the Dominion three days later.

“I’d say he’ll run in both, but I’ll make the final decision on the Tuesday race once I see how he’s trialled and come through it,” he said.

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