Godolphin’s unbeaten champion filly Certify is set to make her long-awaited return to racing in the $200,000 Cape Verdi (UAE-II) Jan. 30 at Meydan Racecourse.
The race is the co-feature on the card, the fourth meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, along with the $200,000 Al Rashidiya (UAE-II). AmWest Entertainment will deliver the card for simulcasting in North and South America, and HRTV will carry a live broadcast, starting at 9:30 a.m. EST.
In her first start in 487 days since impressively capturing the 2012 Shadwell Fillies’ Mile (Eng-I), Europe’s champion 2-year-old filly of that season will face off against teammate Shuruq, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani’s French classic winner Flotilla, and three other fillies and mares in the 1,600-meter (about one-mile) turf test.
An early favorite of the 2013 One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) after winning all four starts as a juvenile, capped by a 4 1/2-length Fillies’ Mile romp, Certify was among 22 Godolphin horses under disgraced trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni to test positive for anabolic steroids.
The highly publicized incident led a six-month ban from the British Horseracing Authority between April and October for the runners that also included Al Rashidiya entrant Steeler.
Certify was shifted to Charlie Appleby at Godolphin's Marmoom Stables training center in Dubai, and the 4-year-old Elusive Quality filly begins a new campaign that is to include the Carnival’s top filly races.
"Obviously she has been off a long time and will improve for a run but her work has been good," Appleby said. "We always thought she was very good and hopefully she will prove us right this year."
Certify is one of two Godolphin runners for the Cape Verdi, the other being 2013 United Arab Emirates Oaks (UAE-II) winner Shuruq. Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, the Elusive Quality filly defeated males in the Al Maktoum Challenge-Round I (UAE-II) on Meydan's all-weather track at the Carnival’s first meeting, Jan. 9, and seeks her first win on turf.
Trainer Mikel Delzangles sends out Flotilla, winner of the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) and 2013 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I, French One Thousand Guineas) in back-to-back starts. The 4-year-old Mizzen Mast filly dropped her two subsequent outings, finishing eighth in the Prix de Diane (Fr-I, French Oaks) in June and then sixth in the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Fr-I) Sept. 15 in her most recent start, subsequently bruising a foot.
The Al Rashidiya drew 12 contestants, with Sheikh Hamdan's three-time Carnival winner Mushreq the highest rated horse in the field and gunning to deliver trainer Mike de Kock a record sixth victory in the 1,800-meter (about 1 1/8-mile) turf race.
The 6-year-old son of Flying Spur won the inaugural Longines Prima Luna Singspiel Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths Jan. 9 at the first Carnival meeting to start on the path to a second crack at the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I), scheduled to run on the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) undercard March 29. He finished 10th in that race last year.
"He ran well in the Dubai Duty Free last year to be beaten less than seven lengths in a red-hot race after a busy Meydan campaign," de Kock said. "He ran six times last season but will be campaigned more sparingly this time.
"A good run here, Super Saturday (March 8) and World Cup night in the Duty Free would probably be the ideal."
Steeler starts for the second time in his comeback back for Appleby. The 4-year-old Raven's Pass colt enters off a fourth-place finish to Shuruq in the Al Maktoum Challenge.
"Steeler really pleased us with his comeback run three weeks ago after his long break," Appleby said. "He has improved for that."
More information on the Dubai World Cup Carnival, including entries, free past performance data, selections, videos, and more, is available at www.amwestentertainment.com.