VETERAN warhorse Tough Monarch has earned another interstate trip for a chance at further Group One glory.
Needing to produce his best form at Club Menangle tonight, Tough Monarch thrilled connections with his effortless victory.
Not only did the nine-year-old score without being fully extended, he clocked a personal best 1:53.3 over the mile.
As such trainer Rickie Alchin confirmed Tough Monarch will be taken to Victoria in a fortnight.
To be precise, the trotter will travel south for the Great Southern Star at Tabcorp Park Melton on February 5.
The Grand Circuit event has been returned to its original format of two $50,000 heats early on the card before the $300,000 Final later in the evening.
“He wasn’t quite as sharp as he should be when he got back from New Zealand in November and must’ve picked up a bug,” Alchin said.
“His work in the last couple of weeks had been better and I expected him to be a lot more like his true self tonight.”
With Alchin in the cart, Tough Monarch worked to the lead from barrier nine as his main danger, Drop The Hammer, was forced to work overtime in the ‘death seat’.
Fending off the initial challenge leaving the back straight, the son of Monarchy was untouched to complete a five-and-a-half metre win from Arnold, with Galleons Glory eight metres away third.
“He’s had to work a little to find the front, then he ran along as he pleased,” Alchin said.
“He felt strong the whole way and I was particularly pleased with the way he found the line.”