Brave Ali has recorded three straight wins since joining the stable of Tony Gollan in March and the veteran gelding is set to make his debut at Group level in the 2014 Chairman’s Handicap at Doomben this Saturday.
Brave Ali was previously prepared by Craig Martin in Tamworth and was a regular in County Cups right around New South Wales, but has gone to another level since moving to Brisbane; winning the Brazilian Beauty Handicap (2100m) at Doomben on March 29 and the Kirks Handicap (2030m) at the same venue a fortnight later before scoring a maiden win at Listed level in the JRA Tails Stakes (2128m) at Eagle Farm on April 26.
Gollan told Sky Racing HQ that he has been thrilled with the form of Brave Ali, but admits that the O’Reilly gelding will be facing the toughest test of his career to date in the Chairman’s Handicap this weekend.
“He has been really good Brave Ali and all credit goes to Craig Martin for dropping him off to me in such good condition,” Gollan said.
“The horse keeps on winning and every time we raise the bar he just seems to win again.
“We are definitely raising the bar again this weekend.”
Brave Ali has produced his best form throughout his career on rain affected tracks, but showed that he can win on a variety of difference surfaces with his past two wins at Eagle Farm and Doomben.
Gollan said that he was delighted to see Brave Ali record a win on a firm surface, but believes that the seven-year-old is a better winning chance if the sting is taken out of the Doomben track on Saturday.
“If the wet weather comes at the end of the week it would be unfortunate for some runners, but not this horse; he is a soft-tracker, he bowls along on top of the speed and makes his own luck,” Gollan said.
“He won on a good three and if he was going to be vulnerable it was probably in that race.
“This week if the wet weather comes it certainly brings him into it and he is better on softer ground, but that is how good he is going – he was able to win a Listed race on a good three.
“He will run well again.”
Gollan is chasing his first win in the Chairman’s Handicap after finishing fourth in the 2013 edition of the race with Topping.