Harrison proves a knockout on Ali

A big-race win during the Queensland winter carnival finally came the way of Brisbane apprentice Tegan Harrison when she scored an all-the-way win on Brave Ali in the $175,000 Ipswich Cup.

The 25-year-old, who has taken Brisbane by storm over the past 18 months, had narrowly missed group 1 wins in the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap on Temple Of Boom. However, Saturday's win in the listed race was extremely satisfying for the Grafton-born lass. ''This is a great thrill to win this race. It's very exciting,'' she said.

Harrison's judgment of pace and kind hands have been the hallmarks of her career to date. Horses run for Harrison, and when it comes to toughing it out at the business end, she is no shrinking violet.

It was a perfectly judged race by Harrison to win on the $7.50 chance, which is prepared by Tony Gollan at Eagle Farm. Gollan praised Harrison's association with Brave Ali.

''Tegan has half been the turning point on this horse,'' Gollan said. ''She's a great young girl and a very polished rider. I'm more than happy to have her on any of my horses. You only have to look at what she turned in today to see how well she's riding.''

Harrison had Brave Ali quickly out of the barriers and the seven-year-old gelding held the lead when the big field turned out of the home straight on the first occasion.

The pair were able to dictate terms until the pressure was applied by Grey Assignment from the 800m mark. The two battled thereafter with Brave Ali lifting generously when challenged in earnest to score by a length.

Grey Assignment ($9.50) hung on for third with Noisy Ocean ($14) rattling home for second.

When asked if she was worried when the pressure was applied a long way from home by Grey Assignment, Harrison replied: ''I would have liked it a bit easier and to hold him up a bit longer, but he's a horse that if he's attacked he digs deep and keeps finding something.''

Brave Ali is raced by a large Armidale syndicate that includes Armidale Jockey Club president Rod Watt and secretary manager Jim Dedes. ''The Grafton Cup is his main aim,'' Dedes said. ''That's the race we're after.''

The $150,000 Grafton Cup (2350m) is run on July 10. Gollan confirmed the Grafton Cup was on the agenda for Brave Ali, which is likely to start in the $175,000 Caloundra Cup (2400m) on Saturday week as a prelude.

This story Harrison proves a knockout on Ali first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.