(MENAFN -Khaleej Times) Unbeaten filly takes on small field in TB Balanchine Group 2
Certify (USA) ridden by Mickael Barzalona winning the 1600m, Third race at Meydan Racecourse. — KT file
Godolphin’s unbeaten filly Certify eyes her sixth straight win as the four-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality take on a small field of six runners in the 1,800m TB Balanchine Group-2 (turf), the highlight of the seventh race-meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Thursday.
Trained by Charlie Appleby, the filly will be ridden by regular partner Mickael Barzalona who was also in the saddle during the filly’s all previous five wins. Certify was crowned Europe’s Champion juvenile filly after four wins at the age of two-year-old including the Group-1 Shadwell Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket besides her recent success on Meydan debut in the Cape Verdi Gr-2 last time out. The race was also Certify’s first start in 16 months.
Trainer Charlie Appleby commented: “I have been very pleased with Certify since the Cape Verdi and the plan was always to go for the Balanchine afterwards.
“She is in very good condition and it is a easy nine furlongs at Meydan, so the step up in distance shouldn’t be a problem.
“She didn’t have a hard race in the Cape Verdi and she moved up very easily under hands and heels. Coming out of the race, she has got her racing head on now — her action is better and she is sharper mentally.
“I am looking forward to seeing her run and hopefully she can maintain her unbeaten record.”
The main support race, the 2,000m Dubai Millennium Stakes on the turf, is one of this season’s new Listed races and has attracted a very competitive field of 13.
It looks significant that Saeed bin Suroor elects to run Tasaday in this and not the Balanchine and she did not enjoy the clearest of runs on her local debut and first start for bin Suroor when ninth in the Group-2 Al Rshidiya.
Bin Suroor also saddles Quick Wit and he explained: “It was a bit disappointing with Tasaday the first time but she was hampered at a crucial stage and would certainly have finished closer with some luck in running.
“She has improved from that run and her last piece of work was very good. I really like her and the 2000m should really suit and I expect a good run.
“Quick Wit is a nice horse and working well but he will definitely come on for the run having been off since September.”
Winner of the Al Rashidiya, over 1,800m on turf, was local debutant, Mujaarib representing South African trainer, Mike De Kock and ridden at the time by Christophe Soumillon. Penalised for that win, he will be ridden here by Paul Hanagan, retained jockey to the horse’s owner, Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
De Kock said: “That win three weeks ago was a bit of a nice surprise really as we really thought he was going to need the outing. He has improved, fitness wise, since and this looked a good target for him.
“The penalty obviously makes life harder but we have to hope for a big run.”
One of the most impressive winners of the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival was the Charlie Appleby-trained Cat O’Mountain, winner of a 2200m all-weather handicap five weeks ago. Touted as a live Dubai World Cup hope after that win, he returns to action in a handicap over the same 2000m all-weather course and distance as the 10 million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race.
Appleby said: “Yes, he was impressive that day but he has an awful lot to prove before you can talk seriously, about such lofty targets. This a lot tougher than the race he won when everything fell into place for him.
“The handicapper has put him up, the trip is slightly shorter, he is giving weight to all 15 rivals and is drawn wide. We will certainly see just where we stand with him.”