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Pinatubo lowers Ascot record with superb Chesham victory


Unbeaten Pinatubo smashed the two-year-old course record for seven furlongs in the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, UK, on Saturday, 22 June.

The Shamardal colt, stepping up in class and trip for trainer Charlie Appleby following six-furlong victories at Wolverhampton and Epsom Downs, broke smartly and was soon settled in mid-division under James Doyle as the 14-runner field raced down the centre of the course.

Pinatubo made good progress passing the two-furlong marker and was switched right to dispute the running with Lope Y Fernandez.

He ran on strongly and went clear to score by three and a quarter lengths eased down in 1m 25.73s on ground described as good, good to firm in places. Pinatubo was 0.82s faster than the previous best set by Malabar in July, 2014.

Charlie Appleby said: “I am delighted. Pinatubo came in here with the right credentials.

“He surprised me when he won first time up at Wolverhampton, but he learnt plenty. We then went to Epsom confident that we had a horse who had learnt a lot on his first start and he showed an impressive turn of foot that day. Franny [Norton] probably went off a bit quicker than he wanted to on the leader at Epsom, but Pinatubo picked them up well and James said he got there too soon.

“Today was one of those nice races to watch. I was quite confident throughout the race that we were going to be there at the business end.

“He is one of those lovely horses who does himself well. You would not see him in the string because he goes out there and just does his job. The team have done a great job in getting him here today.

“Going forward, a race such as the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood would suit him – he has the experience around Epsom and the undulations at Goodwood can catch these juveniles out, but he seems like a very professional horse.

“He travels which is what you need in this style of races, on those sort of tracks you need to be able to travel. That seems to be one of his attributes.”

James Doyle added: “Pinatubo has just got better and better. The form from Epsom was obviously let down by the second and third, so we were a little concerned about that, but he is a very smart horse.

“He travelled like clearly the best in the race and, once he got a bit of room, quickened up really well.

“He is very straightforward. He is not slow by any means, though going up to a mile should be well within his compass. He is pretty sharp at the minute.

“He is quite a sleepy horse at home – he just goes up and down – and you wouldn’t notice him in the string, but he travelled fantastic today. It was just a case of keeping a lid on him through the early part of the race.

“Obviously, he was quite experienced and Epsom brings them on a lot. He wasn’t stopping and I could see him getting another furlong, though there are plenty of options at seven for him.”