Vintage Pinatubo performance at Goodwood this afternoon
Pinatubo put up the two-year-old performance of the year so far when demolishing strong opposition in the G2 Vintage Stakes over seven furlongs on the first day of Glorious Goodwood and is now unbeaten in four starts.
The Shamardal colt, trained by Charlie Appleby and partnered by James Doyle, was prominent early before being settled in fourth of the seven runners. Pinatubo made ground quickly, hit the front with two furlongs remaining and soon went clear of his rivals to triumph easily, beating Positive by five lengths, with another five lengths back to the third Lope Y Fernandez in 1m 27.03s on good ground.
Shamardal captured the same Goodwood race by two and a half lengths before being crowned European Champion juvenile in 2004.
Today’s brilliant run was greeted with delight by Charlie Appleby, who commented: “I am thrilled.
“This horse is just a true professional – he jumped and travelled well and James got him into a lovely rhythm and once they turned into the straight, I couldn’t see too much coming from behind. Pinatubo has galloped out strongly.
“One of the things I said to James was that there was a bit of stamina on the dam’s side, being out of a Dalakhani mare. I told James to keep it simple as Pinatubo has won over the stiff seven furlongs at Ascot and just keep pushing forward on him, so they have to come and catch him.
“That is what has happened and I am delighted with the result. I think we have seen this acceleration on all his starts. Even when you rewind to his debut at Wolverhampton – he was a bit slow away and green before picking up really well. From there on, that is all we have ever seen.
“You wouldn’t notice Pinatubo at home, which is great. Full credit to Giuseppe (Bussu), who rides him, Jaswan, who looks after him, and the whole team back home.
“He is a horse who is like an old stayer walking round the paddock – he just gets on with his job. Thankfully, he is very good at it.
“I would like to speak to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, but I think that probably the National Stakes (G1, 7f, the Curragh, Ireland, Sunday, 15 September) is a likely target now. That is what we said tongue in cheek after Ascot, so thankfully it looks like we are still on target.
“Visually and on all race experience, Pinatubo is very exciting. You can’t get excited about him at home because he just does his job - he is not an exciting workhorse. I don’t mind that if he turns up doing this sort of job in the afternoons!”
James Doyle added his praise of Pinatubo: “That was a pretty spectacular performance.
“We did not go all that quick and he surprised me with how well he got into a rhythm and settled.
“Frankie (Dettori on Visinari) was getting a fairly easy time of it in front, so I popped out to be on the premises ready for when we quickened, and he just took off.
“Pinatubo’s attitude is unbelievable. You would not notice him in the string - he just chips away at home, and yet on raceday, he really lights up.
“You dream to ride horses like this and he is pretty special all right.
“It was a lovely run in every way - there was nothing not to like about it. Pinatubo is just a wonderful horse with a great nature and he is quick. When you sink into him and ask him to go and stretch, he really drops down and accelerates. He showed that again today.
“I wouldn’t say that we were concerned about the ground because it has not gone to any extreme, but just that small bit of ease.
“Each time he has run, it has been on a decent surface and we were interested to see how he would cope with the slight ease. It didn’t stop him and he really let down well.
“Charlie has brought Pinatubo along nicely and hopefully he can go on to bigger and better things. I am sure he will.
“This colt is fast, but he keeps going as well. He accelerated right the way through the line, so we still didn’t get to the bottom of him there. Trip-wise, I am sure that he is going to see out a mile with no problem. He is quick, but these top horses need a turn of foot and he has that turn of pace that a good horse should possess.
“He is not overly tall, but is quite long and has a bit of scope and range about him. He is up to top level, I have no doubt about that.
“He started life off at Wolverhampton and got us a bit excited that day. He has never shown up that much in his work at home but, when you get to the track, he brings his A game.
“He is certainly a proper horse and one to be very excited about. I am sure all the top races later in the season will be on his radar.”
Pinatubo won the Listed Chesham Stakes over seven furlongs in great style at Royal Ascot in June, having earlier been successful over six furlongs at Epsom Downs and Wolverhampton.