Melbourne trainer Pat Carey will remain patient with Australian Derby winner Ethiopia, electing not to enter his stable star in either the 2012 Caulfield Cup or Melbourne Cup.
Carey has no doubt the four-year-old is developing into an excellent stayer but will save the prestigious cups events for later in Ethiopia’s career.
The talented youngster signalled his potential for bigger things in the Australian Derby in March when he produced a stunning last-to-first finish to storm home ahead of Polish Knight.
Apart from the Australian Derby victory, Ethiopia finished third on debut at Sale before placing in both the Group 2 Autumn Classic and Alister Clark Stakes.
While the lightly-raced gelding won’t be taking part in the major cups, the $3 million Cox Plate (2000m) remains a possibility after he was named last week as one of 155 nominations for the weight-for-age feature.
Carey said the $3 million Cox Plate, to be held at Moonee Valley on October 27, or November’s Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington were the most ideal targets.
The Flemington-based trainer said he did not want to extend Ethiopia beyond 2400 metres and suggested he is likely to have a light spring.
“We’ve got one eye on the autumn and one eye on next year,” Carey said.
“The Mackinnon is probably ideal as far as it’s at Flemington and it suits a big, scopey horse.”
Also stepping out for Carey this spring is five-year-old Ulundi who struggled first-up on Saturday in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m).
Ulundi is likely to improve as he steps up in distance throughout the spring with the stakes winner have recorded three of his four career victories at 1600 metres or more.
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