Ethiopia trainer Pat Carey made a brilliant start to Melbourne Cup day with six-year-old Kasane scoring a convincing win in the $100,000 TAB Trophy (1700m).
With Hong Kong-based jockey Brett Prebble aboard, the mare scored the biggest win of her career as she flew home to beat Mabsam and Aliyana by a half-length.
Kasane shares the same sire as Ethiopia, Helenus, and is part owned by Ethiopia’s owner-breeder Trevor Delroy.
“We’ve won it three times…it’s just stellar to win it today with Kasane,” Carey said.
“She’s raced by Trevor and Terrie Delroy and more importantly she’s raced by my wife as well.
“It’s a great start to what looks like is going to be a big day.”
Carey paid tribute to the work of Prebble who has flown in from Hong Kong to assume the ride on the Lloyd Williams-owned Green Moon in the Melbourne Cup.
“He’s ridden with a lot of success for me and more importantly had a ride in the Melbourne Cup for me on Thong Classic (13th) ten years ago,” he said.
Four-year-old gelding Ethiopia will be having just the eighth start of his career when he runs in the Melbourne Cup.
The Australian Derby winner has progressed well this spring with solid performances in each of his three starts including a fourth-place finish in the Cox Plate.
He is currently rated a $19 chance with Mount Athos ($7.25) a slight favourite ahead of former French Melbourne Cup winners Dunaden and Americain who are both at $7.50.