Ulysses After Golden Ticket Before Rookie Rebel

PAUL Abela is confident Aston Ulysses will race well enough in Thursday's Golden Ticket at Albion Park to cement a place in the upcoming Rookie Rebel.

David Brasch

18 January 2022

VICTORIAN trainer Paul Abela is confident middle distance star Aston Ulysses will race well enough in Thursday night’s Group 3 Golden Ticket (520m) match race series at Albion Park to cement a place in the upcoming Group 1 Rookie Rebel.

The 600m glamour race will be run at The Meadows on February 12, highlighting the country’s best middle distance gallopers, and runs together with the Group 1 Temlee (525m) and Group 1 Zoom Top (725m).

The previously invitation only events will this year allow for nominations to be taken, closing on January 28.

A MGRA panel will then choose the top 12 for each special event.

“The middle distance of the Rookie Rebel is perfect for him,” said Paul.

Aston Ulysses (Aston Dee Bee-Sweet It Is) goes into the match race format of the Golden Ticket on Thursday night as the second fast of the four heats winners at 29.89 and comes up against Queensland star Impact.

He had gone into the Golden Ticket off a great third to Jungle Deuce in the 600m at Albion Park at his previous start.

The dog has been in Queensland for almost a month with local trainer Greg Brennan and has thrived.

“All credit to Greg,” said Paul. “He has looked after the dog so well and he is racing well.

“I did fancy his chances even though he was dropping back to 520 metres last week and was up against Louis Rumble.”

Louis Rumble started a raging hot favourite but 37 kg Aston Ulysses used the four-dog heat to quickly put himself into the race in the back straight and by the home turn was looking all over the winner.

He charged to victory in 29.89 and a date with Impact this Thursday night.

His 600m form is superb with a career best 33.81 at Sandown  and 34.12 at The Meadows.

Abela is hoping to target the Zoom Top with kennel staying star Five Star (Fernando Bale-Got One Back) which is back racing at the right time.

“He’s had three months off with injury and his first run back he won at Ballarat in 30.34,” said Paul.

“I believe he has come back better than ever.

“If we can get both of them into the Group 1s it will be great.”

Brennan said the dog had done superbly since his win last week.

“He is an absolute pleasure to have here,” said Greg. “Like all good dogs, he’s superb in the kennels. He’s pulled up well and the two-dog match race will really suit him.”

Brennan is called on by the Dailly kennel in Victoria to prepare dogs from their kennel for Group races at Albion Park and Gypsy Wyong will arrive on Wednesday for a Group 1 campaign.