Talented stayer Ethiopia is making a promising recovery from the injuries that saw him run last in the Melbourne Cup and could be headed for a first-up test in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in April.
The Australian Derby winner has had a lengthy spell in the paddock of owner-breeders Trevor and Terri Delroy’s Wyadup Valley Farm in Western Australia and is showing positive signs.
Jockey Rhys McLeod was forced to ease down the son of Helenus in the Melbourne Cup and he was later discovered to have acute soreness in his hindquarters.
He has also been receiving treatment for hoof soreness and Trevor Delroy said while he requires careful maintenance, the damage has been largely repaired.
“He has thin souls and his hoof geometry is not the best. He is a big horse and we need to change our training to a lot more beach,” Delroy told the West Australian.
Ethiopia has been undergoing beach work under Delroy’s watch but will return to trainer Pat Carey’s Mornington stables in the next couple of weeks to ramp up his training with a view to having a crack at the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“We’ll go to Sydney if we can,” Delroy said.
Ethiopia first announced himself as a stayer of the future in the Australian Derby last April when he produced a barnstorming finish from the back of the field to claim victory in the $1.5 million three-year-old feature.
While no wins came at the Spring Carnival he was hardly disgraced and was particularly impressive in the Cox Plate when he showed versatility to adapt a forward position and run a solid fourth.