Bravo Zolo tries dirt in Firebreak
The Charlie Appleby-trained six-year-old has made two appearances so far this year at Meydan and rallied to take third behind two other Godolphin horses, Benbatl and Bay Of Poets, in the G2 Al Rashidiya over nine furlongs on turf on 1 February.
He finished runner-up to D’bai on his first start of the year in a seven-furlong turf handicap on 11 January and made an impressive seasonal return at the same course in February, 2017, when he gained an easy success in a mile handicap on turf.
Bravo Zolo, a four-time All-Weather winner in the UK, has also gained two Listed victories over a mile on turf, most recently when staying on gamely for a neck verdict in the Ben Marshall Stakes at Newmarket in November.
Partnered by William Buick, he takes on five rivals in the Firebreak Stakes including this season’s G2 Al Maktoum Challenge - Round One victor Heavy Metal and Cosmo Charlie, who was successful the 2017 Listed Al Bastakiya Sponsored by Emirates Skywards.
Charlie Appleby said: “Bravo Zolo has put up two good performances on turf this year and we have always felt that a mile is his best trip.
“It’s his first start on the dirt, which is a bit of a step into the unknown, but if he can translate his turf form to the surface, it should make him a major player.”
Godolphin is responsible for 13 horses racing on Saturday’s card including Promising Run (Saeed bin Suroor/Pat Cosgrave), who looks to follow up her easy success in the G2 Cape Verdi with victory in the eight-runner G2 Balanchine over nine furlongs on turf.
Mountain Hunter (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon) stormed to an emphatic win over a mile and a quarter on 25 January and the progressive four-year-old drops down in trip for the nine-furlong turf handicap.
He is joined in the same 12-runner race by three Charlie Appleby-trained participants – Australian G3 second Kidmenever (William Buick), Blair House (James Doyle) and G K Chesterton (George Wood).
Steady Pace (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon) and Baccarat (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) were both narrowly beaten over six furlongs on their latest starts and the duo face each other plus four others over the same distance in the turf handicap.
Log Out Island (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle), second in the G2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2015, and Dubai One (Saeed bin Suroor/Oisin Murphy) both race on dirt for the first time in the nine-strong handicap over six furlongs.
The three Godolphin contenders for the closing seven-furlong turf handicap with 14 runners are the Saeed bin Suroor-trained pair of Silver Line (Pat Cosgrave) and Top Score (Christophe Soumillon) plus Van Der Decken (William Buick), representing Charlie Appleby.