/ Racing

Certerach shoots for Curragh Cup victory

Updated: Saturday, 28 Jun 2014 12:13 | Comments

Certerach ridden by Jamie Spencer (black and green silks) wins the Dubai Gold Cup
Certerach ridden by Jamie Spencer (black and green silks) wins the Dubai Gold Cup

Certerach makes his European return in Sunday's Group Three At The Races Curragh Cup in what could be a prelude to more travel later in the year with the Melbourne Cup in trainer Michael Halford's mind.

Halford became only the second Irish trainer to enjoy success on Dubai World Cup night when Certerach held off the favourite, Cavalryman, to win Dubai Gold Cup worth over 400,000 euros.

The Kildare trainer explained: "Shane (Foley) picked Dabadiyan (a runner again on Sunday under Foley) as he thought he would be suited to stepping up to two miles.

"Certerach (Jamie Spencer) had won his handicap though and been third to Cavalryman in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy, so he was well entitled to be there too.

"The horses came back to England on the Monday after and arrived home on the Tuesday night which was great. They got a break then and were freshened up with the ground the way it was. They both like good ground and are ready to start back."

Spencer is on Certerach again and a big rival will be another locally-trained runner in Dermot Weld's Pale Mimosa.

She missed an engagement in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot owing to the ground and Weld said: "She doesn't act as well on fast ground so the forecast showers would be welcome.

"She ran a nice race in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan (when third behind Leading Light) and I'd like to think that she has improved for that run."

Ballydoyle pair, Ernest Hemingway and El Salvador, first and fourth respectively here a year ago, are back again with the former equipped with a first-time tongue-strap.

Ursa Major and Tarana have been seen in a good light at the Curragh more than once in the past and both hold at least each-way claims on the ratings while Shu Lewis is another to note.

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