Ethiopia’s the big query of the field. This time last year, Ethiopia hadn’t even set foot on a racetrack. In fact, he didn’t have his first start until February this year, so it has been a very quick ascension for him. He’s very lightly raced, having only had the seven starts to date. And he’s only won the one race – but it was a cracker, he won the ATC Australian Derby in April.
This preparation, he’s been brilliant. He was seventh first up in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes before a fast-finishing sixth in the Turnbull Stakes. He was then ridden further forward in the Cox Plate, finishing fourth in what was a top lead up for the race.
The question is, will he stay? I personally think he’ll go further back here – if he can go to sleep, one off the rail, then I think he’s a big chance. I don’t think rain should affect him, as he seems to be adept on any surface. He’s looming as one of the better local chances, but he is a query. Definitely one to include.
$1400 IN FREE BETS on ETHIOPIA
Bred in: Australia
Trainer: Pat Carey
Jockey: Rhys McLeod
Career Stats: 7:1-1-2
Last 5 Starts: 21×764
Biggest Win: Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m), Royal Randwick, 14/4/2012
Sportsbet Fixed Odds (as at 7pm, Sunday November 4): $19