Monarch Chimes will head across the Tasman later this year in an attempt to plunder Australia’s feature jumping spoils.
He will begin that campaign at Ashwood Park on Sunday when he competes in the Ben Holden Fencing Poverty Bay Cup (1600m).
The David and Emma-Lee Browne-trained gelding was last sighted on the track when unplaced in the Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton in November and his connections are not holding any expectations heading into Sunday with their charge.
“He’s pretty good, it’s his first run back,” Emma-Lee Browne said.
“I’m really pleased that there is a bit of give in the ground (Dead4 track), but obviously it’s a bit firmer than he prefers.
“It really is just a starting point for him. He’s just going for a nice run around and a trip away, just to have him on track for April-May.”
The son of Shinko King experienced two successful Australian campaigns last year and is set to head back this autumn to see if he can replicate his success.
“We seem to be tracking alright and obviously this is just a fitness run on Sunday to get him back to full fitness,” Browne said.
“He hasn’t had a lot of time off though and I think he is a lot more forward than he was this time last year.”
Monarch Chimes will be in receipt of a whopping 14kgs from top-weight Scapolo, who will be out to claim his third Poverty Bay Cup after victories in 2016 and 2017.
Monarch Chimes will follow the same path as he did last year, contesting the J.E.H Spencer Memorial Steeplechase (3200m) at Pakenham in April, which he won last year.
He will then head to the Warrnambool carnival where he will contest the Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) and Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m), which he finished third and fourth respectively at last year’s carnival. – NZ Racing Desk