Ready to roll

Boundary Rider By MATT NICHOLLS

BRAVE Ali will be one of the leading contenders for the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) at Doomben on Saturday after weaker than expected nominations were received for the $125,000 race.
The Armidale-owned gelding has won three races in a row since being based in Brisbane and should be hard to beat again.
Trainer Tony Gollan said the seven-year-old was “flying” and would turn up to Doomben in great order.

Thompson terrific
CONSIDERING he’s ridden more winners than anyone else in Australia, Robert Thompson could be forgiven for being a little bit arrogant.
However, the bush jockey is anything but.
So when Thompson crossed the line in front at Newcastle on Saturday to register his 4000th win as a jockey, I couldn’t help but smile.
I caught up with him in Armidale on Guyra Cup day in March, where he rode a winner.
A man of few words, he gave all credit to the horse, but if a 3kg claiming apprentice had been given the ride, the result would not have been the same.
He won’t ride 5000 winners, but his legacy in Australian racing will be legendary.

Lights, camera, action
EXCITEMENT is building in Armidale regarding the filming of reality TV show The Coach later this year.
Not only will Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart be the face of the program, but expect a number of high-profile NRL players to bob up in Armidale.
The likes of Paul Gallen, Michael Ennis, Johnathan Thurston and a couple of other stars have been mentioned in passing.
It’s great news for Armidale and this reporter has been informed that Stuart and the visiting players will make themselves available to the community at times.

What were they thinking?
I WAS not the only person amazed to see such a lop-sided Group 19 squad when selectors named the team last week.
A total of nine Moree Boomerangs players made the side, yet just two made it from Armidale, who beat the Boomies on their home patch on Saturday.
But it was the non-selection of several gun Glen Innes players that raised most eyebrows.
The pressure will be well and truly on the Boomerangs players to carry the side next week.