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Scintillating Pinatubo proves a National treasure


Pinatubo cemented his position as Europe’s top two-year-old as he stormed to a stunning nine-length victory in the G1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland, on Sunday, 15 September.

The Shamardal colt, coming into the seven-furlong contest on the back of four wins from as many starts for Charlie Appleby, disputed fifth early on before moving up to a close fourth at the half-way stage.

Pinatubo travelled strongly under William Buick and cruised up to hit the front on the bridle approaching the two-furlong marker.

He was asked to win his race soon after and powered clear entering the final furlong before staying on well for a comprehensive success in a quick time of 1m 21.82s on good ground, with G2 Futurity Stakes winner Armory coming home a distant second.

Charlie Appleby said: “A huge credit must go to the whole team at home. They have done a fantastic job looking after this horse and it is great for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to have a home-bred like Pinatubo doing what he is doing.

“We worked him with some nice horses mid-week just to give myself a bit of confidence, more so than the horse. He is the best horse that I have ever had as a two-year-old, there is no doubt about it.

“He is exciting and it is great for the team, for all the guys here. He was raised at Kildangan Stud, so it is great for all the guys there as well. I am just in a very lucky position to be able to train him.

“Today’s race has ridden like a piece of work, so I see no reason why Pinatubo won’t potentially turn up in the G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes (7f, Newmarket, Saturday, 12 October). Those are nice discussions to have with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the team.”

William Buick said: “I haven’t ridden a two-year-old like Pinatubo. Quorto was very impressive when he won this race last year – he beat a subsequent Derby winner – but the performance that Pinatubo put in today was special.

“We saw him do something similar at Goodwood but today was a proper G1 and it was a hugely exciting performance. It felt as good as it looked.

“He is a very relaxed individual at home, a very laid-back horse, which is great. He has a great temperament and adapts to all different circumstances, whether it be in a race or anything that can be thrown at him.

“He was mightily impressive today. He just keeps lengthening and quickening right up to the winning line. He is a hugely exciting horse.”