CONCRETE plans to take Tough Monarch to New Zealand have a few cracks in them.
While the foundation remains intact, trainer Rickie Alchin admits the trotter has to trowel his rivals at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night.
Anything short of a suitable performance will result in Tough Monarch’s Trans Tasman trip being cancelled.
Alchin has earmarked next month’s Dominion Handicap and Inter Dominion as targets for the son of Monarchy.
“The plan is to take him to New Zealand, but he will have to go very well this week to over,” Alchin said. “This will be his last run if I still take him.
“I worked him this morning and he felt enormous and is raring to go.
“He did have a little setback between his previous run and last week’s Bill Collins Mile…if the same race was on this weekend I would be a lot more confident.
“He had a blowout after the race last week and will be a huge improver from it.
“He will have to be though to warrant the trip.”
To be driven by Alchin, Tough Monarch faces a difficult task from barrier nine over 2300 metres.
Adding to the squaregaiter’s problems is his main dangers have fared better in the draws.
Drop The Hammer – an impressive first-up winner last weekend – will come from gate seven, with Amandas Spur to begin from barrier eight.
“Drop The Hammer is a horse on the way up and the one to beat,” Alchin said. “Amandas Spur is also in good form and will make his presence felt.”