LAST season’s AJC Derby winner Ethiopia is still three weeks away from returning to the track, but his trainer Pat Carey is hopeful of unearthing another group 1 contender by that time.
Carey today saddles the Starcraft colt Right To Roam to run in the listed $120,000 McKenzie Stakes (1200 metres) at Moonee Valley, where he will not be judged solely on whether he wins or loses.
”He gives me the impression that he might want it a bit further, so if he can be finishing off his race nicely and be on the heels of the placegetters that will give us some confidence to keep on the path to a good race,” Carey said yesterday.
”You have to have a high road and at the same time be realistic, so we’ve got him nominated for the Caulfield Guineas and it’s up to him whether he gets there or whether he falls short. This race will be a good step for him in better class and we’ll see how he goes.”
Right To Roam raced just four times at his opening campaign in the autumn, which ended with a luckless second at Sandown over 1400 metres in April.
His dam My Only Hope won a Blue Diamond Stakes Prelude but Carey said Right To Roam threw more to his stallion – the dual hemisphere group 1 winner Starcraft – in that he is a chestnut who is looking for ground. Despite showing some promise, Right To Roam was marked a $41 chance last night to win the stakes race.
As for Ethiopia, who caused a sensation at Randwick in April when he won the AJC Derby as a maiden in his fourth start, Carey said he was taking a ”careful approach” to the horse’s spring program as he believed he would be at his peak as a stayer in another 12 months.
”We aren’t overloading ourselves with expectation this spring. He wasn’t nominated for the Caulfield Cup but we will put in a nomination for the Melbourne Cup simply to keep options open, but we haven’t got a heavy program outlined for him this preparation,” Carey said.
”At this stage we’ve pencilled in a first-up run in the Dato Tan [Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 15] and we’ll take it from there, but we won’t be rushing into races for the sake of it as we’ve got one eye on the autumn and one eye on next spring.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.