Phelan to tick Warrnambool off bucket list

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Experienced horseman will achieve a long-held ambition this week when he rides at the famed Warrnambool .

Phelan won last season's Jumps Jockeys' Premiership with 20 wins, including a record nine events, and is now looking to make his mark at the Victorian festival to be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

“I haven't been to the carnival before and I won't be riding forever so I wanted to get there,” Phelan said.

“It's a big attraction with 50,000-odd people there and I got on a decent diet pretty early this season to get ready and get over and ride there.”

Phelan will ride the John Wheeler-trained Abacus for the first time in Tuesday's Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) and again in the Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m) two days later.

An eight-year-old son of Postponed, Abacus hasn't won since he was successful over hurdles at Riccarton during the 2019 carnival at Riccarton.

He had two recent flat outings before crossing the Tasman and finished runner-up in a 3000m steeplechase trial at Warrnambool just over a week ago.

Phelan will also guide the fortunes of Mont Angel, also a recent second in a steeplechase trial on the track, for trainer Clint Marshall in the Maiden Hurdle (3200m) on Tuesday and Not Usual Dream in the Taylor Memorial Maiden Hurdle (3200m) for Rachael Cunningham's stable.

On Wednesday, he has a confirmed booking for San Remo for Stawell trainer Dane Smith in the (3200m).

The Frankel nine-year-old was a course and distance winner three runs back in the hands of expatriate Kiwi Aaron Kuru and has finished fourth in both subsequent appearances.

“I might get a few other rides and I've been on the phone to Aaron and to see if they can sort them out for me,” Phelan said.

He was also to have ridden the -trained , a three-time hurdle winner, at the carnival.

Kajino was spelled after finishing runner-up under Phelan in the Great Northern Hurdle (3200m) in September and returned to finish runner-up in a trial in February, but has been side-lined by a subsequent tendon injury.

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