Ethiopia Aiming for 2014 Melbourne Cup Berth

September 30th, 2014

Nominated for just his second racing appearance this time in in this weekend’s Group 3 The Bart Cummings, trainer Pat Carey has revealed connections of classy stayer Ethiopia are hopeful of progression towards a berth in the major Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) this year.

Ethiopia has not secured a race win since taking out the 2012 Group 1 Australian Derby

Ethiopia has not secured a race win since taking out the 2012 Group 1 Australian Derby. Photo: Steve Hart

Securing just one win and three minor places from just 17 career starts so far, Ethiopia returned to racing for eighth in the Coolgardie Cup (1760m) at Kalgoorlie on August 31st, but appears to be continuing to build in form after finishing second in a strong Cranbourne barrier trial of September 22nd.

Electing to miss the 2014 Autumn Carnival on account of lingerie injury issues and a long view towards the Spring Racing Carnival, Carey told AAP owner Trevor Delroy elected to keep the Helenus gelding in WA over winter to be monitored, and while only being back in work for a matter of weeks, is confident of finding competitive form and securing Cup qualification.

“He’s had some ongoing issues that needed sorting through and Trevor wanted Dave Murphy to oversee the early stages of his preparation,” Carey said.

“He’s had a long slow build-up and he’s been back with me now for three weeks or so.

“He had a trial over a mile at Cranbourne the other day and pulled up good after it.

“He’s not qualified for the Cup at this stage, but if he gets back to form he qualifies.

“The most important thing to us is to get him back into form. He’s forward in condition and all being well I think he can get there.”

A standout particularly in his maiden racing season, Ethiopia finishing third in the Aygee Gippsland Plate (1700m) on debut in February 2012 before placing third in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m), second in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) and breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).

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