Pinatubo powers to Vintage Stakes triumph

Shamardal colt roars to Classic favouritism

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Pinatubo maintained his unbeaten record with a scintillating display in the Qatar Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.

Charlie Appleby’s charge has progressed from winning a minor event at Wolverhampton to landing the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom and the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, with his most recent triumph seeing him rocket to ante-post favouritism for next year’s 2000 Guineas.

This Group Two test appeared far from straightforward on paper, with Aidan O’Brien’s Chesham runner-up Lope Y Fernandez, Richard Hannon’s Superlative winner Mystery Power and Mark Johnston’s grey Visinari among six rivals – but he put them to the sword in the style of a colt destined for the top.

Visinari set out to make all the running under Frankie Dettori, but 6-4 favourite Pinatubo ranged alongside halfway up the home straight.

Once popped the question by James Doyle, the Shamardal colt swiftly engaged overdrive, leaving his rivals trailing in his wake as he powered to the line to score in hugely impressive style by five lengths.

Appleby said: “I’m thrilled with this horse – he is a true professional. He jumped and travelled well. James got him into a lovely rhythm and once he turned into the straight I couldn’t see much coming from behind.

“You rewind back to Wolverhampton, he was a bit slow away and green and he picked up well. From there that is all we have ever seen.

“You don’t notice this horse at home, which is great. It is full credit to the team back home that look after him. If you looked at him walk around the paddock he is like an old stayer. He just gets on with his job and thankfully he is very good at it.”

Pinatubo was cut to a best-priced 4-1 for the 2000 Guineas and looks set to test the water at Group One level for the first time in the National Stakes at the Curragh on September 15.

“You really can’t get excited about watching him in the morning, but there is no doubt what he does in the afternoon excites you,” Appleby added.

“Going forward I will speak to Sheikh Mohammed, but we have spoken about it before coming here and we might have been a bit bold, but we felt the National Stakes might be the likely target.

“I see no reason on the back of that why that won’t be his next target.”

Clive Cox’s once-raced maiden winner Positive emerged best of the rest in second, with Lope Y Fernandez another five lengths away in third.

Cox said: “I’m very happy. The winner has won nicely and he is a serious horse to be respected. I’m very pleased with our fellow and this is the start of his journey.

“It was a big step from Salisbury to here and he has taken that step well. I think we have good reason to be excited about the future.

“It was a quality performance, it justifies our thoughts and he has confirmed how good we thought he might be.”

Pinatubo powers to Vintage Stakes triumph
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