sport

Certify back with a bang

Certify made a triumphant return from 489 days off the track when maintaining her unbeaten record in the Group Two Cape Verdi at Meydan.

The Godolphin filly, trained by Charlie Appleby, was held up towards the rear of the five-runner field and, despite running free in the early stages, travelled ominously well on the outside as they turned for home.

She cruised alongside the grey L'Amour De Ma Vie and just had to be pushed out hands and heels by Mickael Barzalona to score by three-quarters of a length and take her 100 per cent tally to five races.

Eddie Lynam's Pearl Of Africa was third, with the favourite Flotilla a disappointing fourth behind the 2-1 winner.

Certify, the top juvenile filly of 2012, 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, but never got the chance to confirm her promise at three.

Appleby said: "The filly was training nicely but we've asked no serious questions. She looks great in herself and she can only but improve from this.

"I'm just delighted for Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin giving this filly a chance to show what she was as a two-year-old. We had high hopes for her as a three-year-old and hopefully she's got a lovely career ahead of her as a four-year-old.

"The plan was always to go to the Balanchine (a Meydan Group Two over nine furlongs) and if she comes out of this race well that's what we'll do.

"After that it will be Sheikh Mohammed and Simon Crisford (racing manager) to decide which route we go, whether she runs on World Cup night or put her away and take her back to Europe."

Barzalona told Racing UK: "It was a tough race. Shuruq (who finished fifth) is a great filly in Dubai.

"My filly was coming back after a year and a half off so what she did was very good."