Trainer Pat Carey has revealed that he is targeting all three major Group 1 races during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival with promising gelding Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has not been seen at the races since finishing seventeenth in the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m), his only start during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival, and Carey stepped up his preparation with an exhibition gallop before the first race at Sale today.
The gallop was Ethiopia’s first public appearance this campaign and Carey was clearly impressed with what he witnessed.
“He’s got a very good basic fitness and today’s work was good,” Carey told TVN.
“I’m very happy with where he’s at.”
Carey is confident that the Ethiopia can return to his best form when he returns in the spring and he has set the 2012 Australian Derby winner for an ambitious campaign that could include starts in the Caulfield Cup (2400m), Cox Plate (2040m) and Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“He ran fourth in the Cox Plate last year and now there’s no more Pierro, More Joyous or All Too Hard, and his was the best run of the rest, so we’ll be looking at the big races,” Carey said.
“I’d like to see him in a Caulfield Cup where he’d be well weighted with about 54kgs, a fast pace in front and he’d run on very well I think.
“Mind you, I’ve always wanted to get him to two-miles as well.”
Ethiopia produced a brave front-running effort to run fourth in the 2012 Cox Plate (2400m) and went into the 2012 Melbourne Cup (3200m) as the leading Australian-bred chance but was pulled up and found to be lame after the race.
Rising Fast in 1954 is the only horse to win the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the same year.