The Michael Halford-trained Certerach landed the biggest race of his career under Jamie Spencer when running out a narrow winner of the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan.
Yet another horse to come alive in the Gulf for Halford, Certerach bellied his starting price of 33-1 to just hold off the late surge from last year’s winner Cavalryman by a neck.
Spencer settled the Paul Rooney-owned gelding beautifully in the early parts of the race, which proved vital, as Certerach was running on empty at the finish and just reached the winning line in front in the most dramatic of finishes.
“This is beyond our wildest dreams. The horse has had a great Carnival and this time last year he picked up an injury in the Nad Al Sheba,” Halford said.
While Jamie Spencer said was punching the air with delight in the immediate aftermath of the race, he admitted that he was made sweat a little until the result was called.
“I rode him once last year when he was beaten in a photo,” Spencer said.
“He’s a very nice spare to pick up and Shane Foley told me exactly how to ride the horse.
“He quickened well to get to the lead and, if anything, he idled in front. We only just held on,” he added.