Wyadup Valley Farm owner Trevor Delroy was looking forward to another Group 1 at the Sydney autumn carnival after Angola won the Stayers Gold Final (2400m) at Bendigo on Saturday.
Angola (4g Helenus – Nyasa by Don’t Say Halo) is an untapped talent and trainer Pat Carey had the gelding nominated for Group 1 assignments in the BMW and Sydney Cup.
His connections have taken centre-stage at the last two Sydney carnivals with their Helenus stayers Cedarberg (2011 BMW) and Ethiopia (2012 Australian Derby). But any thoughts of a Group 1 treble with Angola were dashed when he bled from both nostrils at Bendigo.
Angola is from a half-sister to G3 WA Winter Cup winner Storm Trooper (Surprise Moss). A big lump of a horse, he had won a Ballarat maiden in January before a hit-and-run trip to Sydney where he was a good thing beaten by Secessio on a Heavy 10 at Rosehill last month.
Having Angola serve an automatic three month ban was a setback for Delroy and Carey, however, they do have back-up plans for Sydney with Durnford, Gondokoro and stable star Ethiopia who could make a cameo appearance at Randwick.
Durnford (4g Helenus – Willow by Woodman) won the LR Mornington Cup Prelude at Caulfield and has been nominated for the BMW. He is a brother to LR Lord Stakes winner Ulundi.
Promising filly Gondokoro is a last-start Moonee Valley winner over 1600m and plans call for her to run in the G1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill before a possible tilt at the G1 ATC Oaks (2400m).
Gondokoro (3f Zabeel – Kisumu by Carnegie) is a sister to South Australian Derby winner Zabeelionaire. Their dam Kisumu commenced her career in Perth before travelling east where she was G2 placed behind champion filly Miss Finland in the Angus Armanasco Stakes at Caulfield.
Ethiopia is back at Carey’s Mornington stables after a spring carnival recovery at Delroy’s property near Yallingup in Western Australia.
Ethiopia (5g Helenus – Shona by Spectrum) finished a solid fourth in the Cox Plate but banged a hind-quarter leaving the barriers in the Melbourne Cup and tailed off a long last behind Green Moon.
Carey is getting Ethiopia fit with swimming and beach work at Balnarring and the gelding was paid up when first acceptances were taken for the G1 Doncaster Mile last Tuesday, March 12. “He’s recovered from that injury to his hindquarter and we also have to look after his hooves,” Delroy said. “He has thin soles and they will always need careful maintenance.”
Helenus (Helissio) was based at Heytesbury Stud and Alwyn Park in Western Australia before transferring to Wattle Grove Thoroughbreds in NSW where he stood for a $6,600 service fee last year.
– Karl Patterson