Tough Love ready to join an elite group

14 May 2022

ONLY three fillies have been able to win a NSW Trotters Oaks and Derby in almost 25 years.

Now exciting young square-gaiter Tough Love will be given her opportunity to join an elite group when she takes on the boys in tonight’s Tabcorp Park Menangle feature, the Group 1 Schweppes NSW Trotters Derby.
This daughter of French trotting sire Love You has an extraordinary record at the track for trainer-driver Rickie Alchin, including winning her past four races in succession.
As it stands, Jauriol (2005), Right Interest (2006) and Habibti (2013) are the only members of the ‘fairer sex’ to achieve the Oaks/Derby double.
“I was more than happy with her run in the Oaks and she pulled up a treat, which is why she is going around again,” said Alchin.
“She is a really nice filly and she’s building a strong record. She’s earned her shot at the ‘boys’.
“The draw hasn’t made it easy though.”
As Alchin alluded to, Tough Love has received no favours in the draw, coming out of barrier seven.
Despite her awkward starting position, Tough Love is the $3.90 second elect with TAB Fixed Odds.
Courage Stride, drawn in gate six, heads the market at $3.
Winner of his last two starts, Courage Stride is prepared by Victorian trotting supremo Chris Lang, who trained Jauriol and Right Interest.
Lang also won the Derby with Aldebaran Shades in 2012.
“Like I said, she hasn’t drawn the best and this is a really strong field, so it is going to test her,” Alchin said. 
“I’m looking forward to seeing how she steps up though.
“Courage Stride has looked impressive this time in, but there is a lot of solid form in the field and there are several realistic chances.”
Meanwhile, unlucky youngster Miss Ex will be given one more chance to register a feature win before being sent for a spell.
Making her fourth Group One appearance last weekend, Miss Ex finished second in an Australian Pacing Gold Bullion Final at Club Menangle.
Heading back there tonight, Miss Ex contests the Golden Easter Egg, originally scheduled for April 9, but postponed due to severe weather.
“She’s come through the APG Final in terrific shape and is ready to go again,” Thorn said. 
“This will be her last start before she goes for a break to have her ready for the New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge.”
The iForm best bets for today:
Menangle best bet  
Race 9: Collina Kay Jay (11)
Handy performance after an early setback last week and appears the one to beat.
Menangle next best 
Race 7: Gus An Maori (10)
Can make a race of it with the popular elects following a stylish first up display.
Around the tracks
Parkes best bet
Race 2: Weona Miss Fortune (2)
Got it wrong when resuming but form last time in reads well for this.

Play the exotics
The Menangle quaddie
Race 5: 6-8-11-7
Race 6: 4-1-10
Race 7: 11-12-10-6
Race 8: 10-4-3-2
$96 for 50%