Charlie Appleby has his sights set on a second victory in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, as he prepares the unbeaten Pinatubo for the Group One showpiece at the Curragh on Sunday week.
The Shamardal colt has been one of the stars of the season in the juvenile division, winning all four of his starts to date, including the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and most recently a hugely impressive performance in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.
Appleby struck 12 months ago with Quorto – a son of Dubawi, who himself won the race for Godolphin in 2004.
The Newmarket trainer told irishchampionsweekend.ie: “We are on track, all is well with Pinatubo and this race has always been our aim.
“He has been pleasing us at home and really the only issue might be if the ground were very testing, but he handled conditions fine at Goodwood and he should be all systems go for the Curragh.
“He has the perfect profile to now be going into Group One company and, four from four, obviously he is exciting. He is spot on temperamentally and it was nice to win the race again. We won it last year with Quorto and (Godolphin) had last won the race with his dad, Dubawi.”
Opposition to the Appleby-trained runner could include Ger Lyons’ also-unbeaten Siskin, who was last seen winning the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh last month.
Appleby added: “This is going to be a race with at least two exciting colts as Ger Lyons’ Siskin has looked very good and he will probably be happier on a decent surface even though he won on testing ground last time.
“It was fantastic to win this race last year and I’m really looking forward to it, with Pinatubo hopefully on course for the Dewhurst at Newmarket after it.”