WHILE the thoroughbred industry has just started a new season, harness racing still has a month to go.
Chris Alford has had a season to remember.
The Bolinda trainer/driver is the leading driver in Victoria, having notched up 294 wins from 1524 drives.
One horse that's been able to add to his tally is Triumphant Monarch (pictured).
The New Zealand gelding was flown across the Tasman six weeks ago and has already made his mark on Australia shores.
The son of Earl and Sun Mist finished fourth in the Victoria Trotters Derby at Maryborough last month before winning a T1 to T2 trot at Melton last Friday night (pictured).
Alford said the squaregaiter would be aimed at this month's Breeders Crown final series.
"He'll be racing again on Friday night, but the aim is the Breeders Crown for three-year-old trotters," Alford told Melbourne Racing yesterday.
Triumphant Monarch was sent to Alford by Keith and Robyn Gibson, who own Sundon and stand him at Roydon Lodge stud in Christchurch.
One thing you'll notice about the trotter is his unusual coat.
Alford said Triumphant Monarch was clipped that way when he got off the plane.
"It helps keep the water off them, but they don't clip above the kidneys because the hair keeps them warm," he said.
Alford was confident Triumphant Monarch would race well tomorrow night, after he drew gate two in the mobile start over 1720 metres.
Last week the three-year-old won by 10 metres in a mile rate of 2:02.4.