Irish-trained Certerach denied Cavalryman a repeat win in the $1 million Dubai Gold Cup (UAE-II) March 29 at Meydan but had to wait out a lengthy stewards' inquiry (VIDEO).
Pocketed in the straight, Cavalryman desperately pursued Certerach in the closing stages once he was clear, and that rival bumped him when hanging left a bit in the sprint to the finish line. Certerach was eventually declared the winner by a neck when Cavalryman's trainer, Saeed bin Suroor, withdrew a claim of interference by jockey Silvestre De Sousa.
The 3,200-meter (about two miles) stamina test went at a leisurely clip with several horses leading at various stages. At the 200-meter mark, Certerach overtook front-runner Ralston Road and was all out to repel Cavalryman, who gained ground with each stride but failed to overtake him.
Ridden by Jamie Spencer for trainer Michael Halford, Certerach won a 30-1 odds in North American pools hosted by AmWest Entertainment. He was timed in 3:23.14 on turf rated as good, earning his first stakes win.
Cavalryman, the 6-5 favorite, outfinished Star Empire by 2 1/4 lengths to hold second in the 15-horse field.
Owned by Paul Rooney, Certerach came into the race off a third-place finish behind Cavalryman and Star Empire in the about 1 3/4-mile Nad Al Sheba Trophy March 1 at Meydan. The Gold Cup marked his fourth start at the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
The 6-year-old Halling gelding won his Dubai debut in a handicap race in January and in finished third in a second handicap Feb. 6 in his start prior to the Nad Al Sheba Trophy, a race he finished second in last year.
Overall, Certerach has a 4-1-5 record from 19 career starts. Bred in Ireland by Newberry Stud Co., he is out of the stakes-winning Danehill mare Chartres.