WORKING with family isn’t always the perfect formula for success.
And if you asked Alex Alchin how it was going this week, well, he might hesitate to say it was ‘perfect’.
“My two brothers, Ricki and Jarrod are both campaigning in Queensland at the moment – enjoying the sunshine,” he grinned.
“I’m left here in the cold, doing the hard yakka, helping look after the horses that they didn’t take with them.
“I’d have loved to have taken a couple up there as well but didn’t really have anything worth taking, at this stage.”
Alex is also working his own team and operating a thriving horse dentistry practice as well.
But the youngest of the three Alchin boys does love a challenge.
And he’ll have one at Menangle today with a talented square-gaiter named Sobomba, who will fly the stable flag when he tackles Race 2 at Menangle, the Dine Now at Menangle Country Club Trotters Mobile.
The Menangle trainer only has half a dozen horses in work and two of those are square-gaiters, which always keeps him looking for ways to improve their education.
Alchin won a major race with the talented Victorian trotter Andyou a few weeks ago and that horse has now returned south to his owners, who also dabble in training.
Sobomba has shown glimpses of his talent and Alex had no hesitation calling on champion reinsman Todd McCarthy to take the reins on Sobomba, listed as a $4 early favourite for this afternoon’s 2300m mobile.
“When he does everything right, he can be handy,” said Alex.
“He does have a few little tricks. He went OK the other day when he galloped, regathered himself and went on to finish third.
“If he can lead today, he should be somewhere thereabouts.”
Alchin says the equine dentistry has been keeping him pretty busy.
“I can make more money out of the dentistry,” he said.
“I do have a couple of nice stable clients but own the rest of them myself.
“I only have the two trotters at the moment and have a couple more in the paddock.
“Sobomba is here to try and pick up the NSW bonus.
“I did try to buy Andyou, but the owners were keen to hang onto her.
“Artzen has gone for a spell as there wasn’t much on for her at the moment.”
Alchin admits the trotters can do your head in, at times.
“But it gives a you a bit more of a thrill as some of them are hard to sort out and when you do it really gives you a sense of accomplishment,” he said.
“Yes, they can be tricky.
“There’s also a smaller pool of trotters, especially in NSW, which gives you more hope of success.”
Alchin usually arrives at the stables at the ice-cool time of around 6am.
He gets the horses worked and then heads off to different stables for the dentistry.
“It can be a long day, but a lot of the horses are nearby, which does make it a little easier,” said Alex.
“I usually spend a day going to places like Newcastle or Bathurst or over to Hawkesbury, where I also do some gallopers as well.
“One day a week I often have a big day out but try and do the rest locally, most of the time.”
Alex has his stables, about 10 boxes, just up the road from his brother Ricki just across the railway line from the Menangle track.
Eldest brother Jarrod has 20 boxes at Menangle but is a regular visitor to Qld at this time of year to escape the Sydney winter.
“Will Rixon is looking after the five or six Jarrod still has racing back here,” says Alex.
“We do help each other out where we can.
“I used to have a few stabled with Jarrod but once I got into the dentistry, I got a bit busier and that made things a big harder.
“It can be a challenge working with family at times.
“But really it works out well and we are always the first to help each other out if one or the others needs a hand.”