Gallant second for Pinatubo in titanic G1 St James’s Palace Stakes
Pinatubo produced a performance full of courage when going down by a length to Palace Pier in an epic renewal of the mile G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday, 20 June.
Last season’s European champion juvenile, third on his reappearance for Charlie Appleby in the G1 2,000 Guineas, was anchored at the rear of the seven runners by William Buick. The Shamardal colt cruised up between horses passing the two-furlong marker and showed an impressive turn of foot to take up the running over a furlong from home.
Asked to win his race soon after, Pinatubo rallied when pressed on both sides by the 2,000 Guineas runner-up Wichita and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s unbeaten colt Palace Pier as the trio forged clear of the rest of the field inside the final furlong.
Palace Pier gained the upper hand in the closing stages, with Pinatubo galloping out resolutely to finish a head in front of Wichita. The front three pulled a full five and a half lengths clear of Positive in fourth.
Charlie Appleby said: “I am disappointed to get beaten again, but we saw the Pinatubo we saw last year, for sure.
“From the three-pole to the two-pole I thought it was just a matter of pressing the button again. William Buick said that on that ground, in the last 100 yards the tank was emptying out, but he’s so courageous, he has still held on for second. It is sticky and testing out there – it’s not bad ground, just a bit sticky.
“Like always, we will get him back and speak to connections. The G1 Sussex Stakes is an easy mile. We have seen what he can do round Goodwood, he can handle the track, so that is always an option.
“When Pinatubo walks back in, you can see that he has given it everything. When he turned into the straight today, I thought we were back in the days of old.”