A wet Doomben to help Brave Ali

BRISBANE Aug 24 2016

The prospect of a soft track has boosted the chances of veteran stayer Brave Ali achieving a rare feat at Doomben.

On recent efforts Brave Ali is a great chance on Saturday to become the fourth 10-year-old to win in open company in Brisbane in recorded history.

The 1970 Brisbane Cup Cachondeo later won as a 10-year-old while prolific winner of the 1980s Supersnack and Valderoy in the 1950s also won at that age.

Brave Ali did his original racing in New Zealand and was then bought to race in country NSW where he won seven races before being sent to Tony Gollan at Eagle Farm.

Since joining Brisbane's premier yard Brave Ali has won two stakes races - the 2014 Tails Quality and Ipswich Cup - as well as being placed in the Caloundra Cup and Chairman's Handicap.

At his last start Brave Ali finished a good second to promising stayer Panno Rossa in a 2200m-open handicap at Eagle Farm.

Gollan believes Brave Ali will need a soft track to be a winning chance at Doomben on Saturday.

"Apart from the Grafton Cup when the track was too hard he has been racing well," Gollan said.

"His last start second to Panno Rossa was good because he fought on well after being headed.

"But these days he needs a soft track and I hope some rain comes."

The oldest horse to win a Queensland metropolitan race is Ollie Vollie who was 11 when the late Tim Bell steered him to victory in the 2014 Gold Coast Stakes.

The John McNair-trained Mustard won at the age of 13 at Rosehill in 2010.

A new rule introduced from this season bans horses over 12 from racing.

Brave Ali has had 19 starts on rain-affected tracks for five wins and eight minor placings.

"How much longer he goes on is always up in the air with older horses but I would love him to win another race," Gollan said.

Showers and rain periods have been predicted for Brisbane this week but Gollan hopes it won't be too wet for his promising first starter Just Excel in the Three Year Old (1110m).

"I was going to run her in the maiden at Caloundra on Wednesday but I was worried it would be too wet," he said.

"She has shown some promise so I gave her a good gallop on Tuesday to be ready for Saturday."



Mark Oberhardt - AAP

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