Certify the star at Meydan as she runs in the Group Two Balanchine
Godolphin's Certify is the star at Meydan on Thursday as the unbeaten filly lines up in the Group Two Balanchine.
Last Updated: 19/02/14 1:58pm
Charlie Appleby is now the man in charge of the top-class four-year-old, who was one of the horses involved in the Mahmood Al Zarooni drugs scandal.
Winner of the Fillies' Mile as a juvenile, her six-month suspension prevented her from running during her Classic season but she showed she has retained all her ability with a scintillating display in the Cape Verdi three weeks ago, with a number of her rivals that day taking her on again here.
She will aim to emulate Sajjhaa who won both races last year before going on to claim the Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night.
"She has always been very good and she vindicated the decision to keep her training after missing last season," said Appleby.
"We could not have been more pleased with that winning comeback and she has thrived since then. She had been off a long while and that run really reminded her what racing is about.
"That was over 1600m (a mile) whereas this is 1800m (nine furlongs) but I do not think the extra 200m is going to be a problem. With only six runners it could be tactical and may develop into a sprint, but she showed in the Cape Verdi she can quicken.
"We have to be very hopeful."
Hughie Morrison's Banoffee, David Simcock's Moment In Time and Eddie Lynam's Pearl Of Africa add further European interest to the contest.
The main supporting race is the Dubai Millennium Stakes, in which Appleby's Godolphin counterpart Saeed bin Suroor runs Tasaday and Carnival veteran Quick Wit.
In her time with Andre Fabre, Tasaday was third, beaten just over five lengths, by subsequent Arc winner Treve in the Prix Vermeille and beaten just a nose by Dalkala in the Prix de l'Opera.
She could have run in the Balanchine but Bin Suroor has skipped that in favour of an easier race - on paper at least - after she disappointed on her Carnival debut.
"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," said Bin Suroor.
"She has improved from that run and her last piece of work was very good. I really like her and the 2000m (10 furlongs) 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."
Mike De Kock's Mujaarib won the race in which Tasaday was beaten having been expected to need the run.
"That win three weeks ago was a bit of a nice surprise really as we thought he was going to need the outing. He has improved, fitness wise, since and this looked a good target for him," said the South African champion.
"The penalty obviously makes life harder but we have to hope for a big run."
Cat O'Mountain sparked World Cup dreams with an impressive win five weeks ago and carries top weight in the 10-furlong handicap, but Appleby is keeping his feet on the ground.
"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," he said.
"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."