Pinatubo back to his best with dazzling display in G1 Prix Jean Prat
Pinatubo showcased the level of brilliance that made him the highest-rated juvenile in 25 years as he recorded a third G1 victory over seven furlongs in the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville, France, on Sunday, 12 July.
The Shamardal colt captured both the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and Darley Dewhurst Stakes during a stellar 2019 and was dropping back in trip following admirable efforts in defeat over a mile in the 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes.
Pinatubo was held up in third last as Well Of Wisdom (James Doyle) led the 11-strong field. He started to make stealthy headway between runners approaching the final quarter-mile and showed tremendous acceleration to take up the running with a furlong to race.
Lope Y Fernandez briefly looked set to lay down a challenge to Pinatubo inside the final furlong but the Godolphin homebred asserted in the closing stages to prevail by a cosy three-quarters of a length.
Charlie Appleby said: “This is what we saw from Pinatubo as a two-year-old. He travels and then has that electric turn of foot. William said that he was sat last at halfway with not a lot of room but, before he knew it, he was up there on the bridle again and travelling as well as he wanted to be in a race of this calibre.
“I am delighted for the horse and delighted for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, who has had a lot of faith in Pinatubo. Well done to the whole team because, when you get turned over in the first couple of races after being favourite for the Guineas over the winter, it is hard to take.
“We have always felt that Pinatubo is a very courageous horse. Take nothing away from the winners on his last two starts over a mile, they have outstayed us on the day, but we were always confident coming back to seven furlongs today that it would have to be a good horse to beat him. Most importantly, I am pleased for Pinatubo.
“Going back to a mile is something that we need to talk about. He does travel extremely well and has that acceleration. He is going to be one of those milers that you are going to have to ride with so much confidence and just hope that you get there.
“We will enjoy today. He is a multiple G1 winner at two and now a G1 winner at three, so I am delighted for everybody involved. His sire Shamardal had a fantastic year last year with his juveniles and this year with his three-year-olds, so it’s great for the team and well-deserved for this horse. He can have a little rest now and we can decide where we go next.”
William Buick said: “Charlie and Sheikh Mohammed always said that Pinatubo was one of the best horses they had ever seen and he is very fast, as he showed there. He ran very well over a mile in the 2,000 Guineas and very well in the St James’s Palace Stakes but he is very fast.
“When you ride him, he gives you a lot of confidence. He travels very well and is a very straightforward horse to ride. He has a very good mind and I don’t think I have ever ridden a horse with a turn of foot like he has.”