Ethiopia enjoying a rest in the west

Faith in his horse and in himself has worn away at the disappointment trainer Pat Carey experienced when Ethiopia, the runner seen as the major local hope, finished last in the Melbourne Cup.

Ethiopia went into the Cup on the back of a solid fourth placing in the Cox Plate and looked to be in the best form of his brief career.

But after racing near the lead to the 400m, he dropped out quickly in the run home.

“He whacked his hip on the gate on the way out … we found a big gouge in his side” Carey said.

Until then, Ethiopia had looked like realising all the promise he’d shown when he won the previous autumn’s Australian Derby, a race that remains his only win – although he has collected more than $1 million prizemoney.

Since the Cup, Ethiopia has returned to owner Terry Delroy’s farm near Yallingup in Western Australia for a good rest and some natural horse behaviour while connections ponder the next move for one of Australia’s most talented horses.

“I went over and saw him last week,” Carey said.

“He’s in great order, they’ve got the beach nearby, nice country.”

Carey and the Delroys haven’t finalised an autumn plan, but whatever it is, it will be a brief one.

“I think people are realising you can’t dance every dance,” Carey said.

“After a tough preparation like they have in the spring, they need a good break.

“You can’t chase every big race on the program.

“He might have one run late in the autumn, no more than that.

“You can’t do any more than what’s best for him. He’ll do the same for us.”