Certify returns from ban at Meydan
Updated: Wednesday, 29 Jan 2014 23:11
Certify, the top juvenile filly of 2012, returns after 489 days off the track in the Group Two Cape Verdi Stakes at Meydan on Thursday.
The filly was one of 22 Godolphin horses suspended from racing for six months last year by the British Horseracing Authority at the inquiry at which her trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni received an eight-year ban.
She had been tipped for Classic honours after winning all her four starts as a two-year-old, including the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster and the Shadwell Fillies' Mile.
Certify is now trained by Charlie Appleby, who was assistant to Al Zarooni before taking over Moulton Paddocks stables in July.
He expects her to run well but is certain she will come on for the outing.
"Obviously she has been off a long time and will improve for a run, but her work has been good," said Appleby.
"We always thought she was very good and hopefully she will prove us right this year."
Among her five rivals in the one-mile contest on turf is another Godolphin-owned filly, Shuruq, trained by Saeed bin Suroor.
She made a winning seasonal debut in round one of the Maktoum Challenge three weeks ago on the Tapeta surface.
Certify is not the only classy filly on the comeback trail as Flotilla is having her first start since bruising a foot after being beaten in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp in September.
Trained in France by Mikel Delzangles, she won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf in 2012 and last year's French 1000 Guineas.
A talented field is completed by Eddie Lynam's Pearl of Africa, Mike de Kock's Mensoora and L'Amour De Ma Vie, trained by Pia Brandt.
De Kock saddles Mushreq and Mujaarib as he bids to win the Group Two Al Rashidiya for the third year running.
Both horses are owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum with Dane O'Neill coming in for the ride on Mushreq as first jockey Paul Hanagan is suspended.
Mushreq has progressed since taking the mile-and-a-quarter handicap on this card 12 months ago and landed the Listed Singspiel Stakes three weeks ago.
"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," said De Kock.
"He ran six times last season but will be campaigned more sparingly this time.
"A good run here, Super Saturday and World Cup night in the Duty Free would probably be the ideal."
Tasaday, trained by bin Suroor, makes her debut for Godolphin, having been a three-time Group winner for Andre Fabre. She was third behind subsequent Arc heroine Treve in the Prix Vermeille and was only beaten a nose by Dalkala in the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp in October.
Bin Suroor said: "She is a lovely, new filly in the yard and she has been pleasing us at home. She will improve for this run but we expect a big effort."
Appleby saddles both Steeler, who made a pleasing return recently from the six-month drugs ban, and Maputo, a six-time winner for Mark Johnston last year.
"Steeler really pleased us with his comeback run three weeks ago after his long break," said Appleby.
"He has improved for that, while Maputo is having his first start for us.
"He was progressive last year and a great addition to the team who has been working well. It is a good race, as you would expect, but our two should go well."