Butt the key to trotter’s Group 1 success

Harness racing driver Anthony Butt seems to be the key to trotter Tough Monarch.

Butt has driven the evergreen gelding 10 times and just collected his third Group 1 win with the Rickie Alchin-trained trotter.

Tough Monarch won the Group 1 Queensland Trotters Cup at Albion Park with Butt at the reins.

“It’s my third Group 1 win with him . . . I’ve only driven him a few times in my life,” said Butt when returning to scale.

“He always tries his best and it’s a real credit to the team, I know Rick Hunt (stable foreman) has been looking after him and Rickie Alchin, together they have done a great job.

“He still had to tough it out and he was way too good.”

Drawing barrier 13 on the second row, it was never going to be easy for Tough Monarch.

So much so, to put him into the race Butt positioned the nine-year-old son of Monarchy outside the leader.

The locally-trained Majestic Simon led and with the quarters clocked in 29.7, 30.1, 28.9 and 29 seconds, Tough Monach bullied his way to the lead to win by more than two metres.

The mile rate of 1:56.7 for the 2138m was a track record, eclipsing the previous mark of 1:57.3 set by Releven Dream in 2017.

That was Tough Monarch’s 28th victory.

Trainer Rickie Alchin was unsure of the next goal with Tough Monarch due to the current travel restrictions.

“If I can, I might take him back to Victoria and race in the free-for-all grade down there,” said Alchin during the week.

“The Inter Dominion is the aim later in the year.”

Footnote: Anthony Butt also drove Tough Monarch to victory in the Group 1 New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All as well as a heat of the Great Southern Star, also a Group 1 race.

By Amanda Rando