By Myra Lewyn
Godophin Racing's Certify kept her career record perfect Sept. 28 and earned her first win at the top level in scintillating fashion in the Shadwell Fillies' Mile (Eng-I), the feature event on the second day of Newmarket's Cambridgeshire Festival.
The Kentucky-bred filly, the 4-to-6 favorite with Racing Post, won by 4 1/2 lengths from Roz after an anxious moment when steadied at the start. But she secured the victory in the matter of a few powerful strides about a quarter-mile out in the one-mile race and drew off.
Covering the distance in 1:38:19 on good turf, Certify scored her fourth win from as many starts and further boosted her status as early favorite for the 2013 One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I). The bay filly tallied a third group victory, entering off wins in the German-Thoroughbred.com Sweet Solera Stakes (Eng-III) in August and the May Hill Stakes (Eng-II) in May.
Certify earned an automatic starting berth to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park as the Fillies' Mile is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" series. Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni told SkySports that he believes his filly has done enough for the season, but added that he would confer with Godolphin leader Sheikh Mohammed and racing manager Simon Crisford about whether she will go on to the $1 million race.
"I think that will be it for the year. She's a lady and we have to look after her," Al Zarooni said.
Under Mickael Barzalona, Certify raced near the back of the six-horse field after steadying at the start, but was never far off the dawdling pace. She rallied smartly along the rail when given her cue in the straight, dispatching runner-up Roz, who led early but was no match for the winner. Certify provided Godolphin a third consecutive win the Fillies' Mile, following Lyric Of Light last year and White Moonstone in 2010.
Amazonas finished third, a length behind Roz. Previously unbeaten Ollie Olga finished last in the six-horse field in a lackluster performance.
Bred in partnership by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley, Hurstland Farm, and William Kartozian, Certify was produced by U.S. stakes winner and multiple grade III-placed Please Sign In, by Doc's Leader. Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock adviser John Ferguson bought her for $80,000 out of the Hurstland Farm, agent, consignment at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Certify is a half sister to 2007 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) winner Cry and Catch Me, by Street Cry (Ire), and is from the family of European champions Habitat and Suave Dancer. She is one of 84 stakes winners for Darley's Lexington-based Elusive Quality, whose group winners this year include 2011 European champion Elusive Kate.