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Godolphin`s Certify Cruises to Facile Comeback Victory in Group 2 Cape Verdi

Certify (USA)
Photo: Cedric Lane (UAEracingpics@gmail.com)

Mike de Kock Lands Sixth Al Rashidiya With Mujaarib-Mushreq 1-2

The eagerly awaited reappearance of Godolphin’s Certify, winner of the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile as a juvenile when last seen in 2012, was an impressive one on Thursday evening with the now four-year-old proving far too good for five rivals in the Group 2 $200,000 Cape Verdi Stakes.

Mickael Barzalona, oozing confidence on the filly, was content to take his time for the first 1200m in the fillies and mares contest at Meydan. It was during the final 400m of the 1600m race that the pair made their relentless progress to the wining post, quickening away from four rivals without Barzalona picking up the whip. She was always going to catch eventual runner-up, L’Amour De Ma Vie.

The winner is now unbeaten after five starts and winning trainer, Charlie Appleby said: “We always thought she was very good and she did that in the style of a classy filly. It is great to see she retains that ability she showed at two.

“Hopefully, she can go on to justify the ultra high regard in which we have always held her.”

Barzalona doubled up in the evening’s finale, a 2000m turf handicap, winning on Saxo Jack for Saeed bin Suroor.

The second Group 2 turf feature, the 1800m Al Rashidiya, was delayed for five minutes after a false start but, when the race was won, it was a memorable one for South African Mike De Kock and owner HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

They supplied both the winner, Mujaarib, and runner-up, Mushreq with Christophe Soumillon, in the second silks, aboard the winner.

Landing the race for the third year running, De Kock has now won the Al Rashidiya six times and Soumillon said: “I was pretty hopeful my fellow would run well as he has been working nicely enough but I did not think we could beat Mushreq.

“When we saw daylight he really quickened but he was tiring so the post appeared just in time.”

It was a double on the card for both jockey and trainer who had earlier combined with Zahee - the cosy winner of a seven furlong all-weather handicap having made smooth progress to chase the leaders 400m out.

Soumillon was happy to bide his time, the pair leading only in the final 100m.

“He travelled nicely and, once we found racing room, picked up well,” said Soumillon. “He has run on strongly which was pleasing considering we thought he would need the run.

“I am not sure how good a race it was but he might be able to build on this.”

There was a first UAE winner at the 39th attempt, for the Saudi Arabian owner, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Sons, with the last gasp victory of the Bader Al Shaibani-trained Alsaaeqah in the opening 1000m handicap, the mare’s first ever start on turf.

Seemingly outpaced early on under William Buick, she responded well to her rider’s urgings in the final 200m to lead on the line, denying Beat Baby who had looked likely to make all under Per-Anders Graberg.

Buick said: “I thought we had just made it in time but you can never be too confident when it’s that tight.

“It is a strong yard so I was hopeful and she has done well to make a wining turf debut in a strong heat like this.”

Ottoman Empire, trained by Satish Seemar for Ahmad Al Shaikh won the 1900m all-weather handicap under stable jockey, Richard Mullen who always looked happy just off the speed.

His mount quickened well off a sedate pace and held on grimly to the delight of the jockey who said: “He is a tough horse who needed his first run three weeks ago and he has shown a great attitude there. He is just so brave.”