Pinatubo produced an astonishing performance to land the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.
Representing the connections that were successful in last year’s renewal with Quorto, the Charlie Appleby-trained colt was sent off the 1-3 favourite for the Group One feature on the back of an unbeaten four-race campaign that had included victories at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.
Always travelling sweetly for William Buick, the Godolphin-owned Shamardal colt cruised to the front inside the three-furlong pole and when Buick let him loose with a furlong and a half to run, he simply rocketed clear.
The race was immediately over as a contest, with nine lengths eventually separating the winner from nearest pursuer Armory.
Appleby said: “He’s a trainer’s dream once you get to know him, because he doesn’t excite you in the morning to say the least. We started his career off at Wolverhampton for a reason, as we didn’t really know he was in the yard.
“He’s done nothing but improve with each run. James (Doyle) said he didn’t really travel in the first half of the race at Goodwood, and I said to William this morning, ‘don’t panic if this horse isn’t travelling with you early, as at home he won’t pick the bridle up’.
“He’s the best horse I’ve ever had as a two-year-old, there’s no doubt about it. He’s exciting and it’s great for the team.
“As soon as William gave him a squeeze he soon came back on the bridle and from two down I couldn’t see him getting beat. It’s not often you can say that at this level.
“I gave him a gallop midweek with some of the nicer two-year-olds trying to give myself a bit of confidence and I probably did the reverse, as Royal Crusade (Champagne Stakes runner-up) put him in his place.
“He just goes through the motions and the jockey gets off and says he’s moving well. He goes home and eats, drinks, sleeps and that’s the end of it. We only ever see the best of him when he turns up at the track, which is a nice position to be in.
“The way he’s developing as an individual over the last six week has been noticeable. People were questioning whether he would just be a two-year-old, but he’s got a nice walk and presence about him. He’s a very exciting horse.”
He added on plans: “I’ll have to discuss things with Sheikh Mohammed, but the way he’s won there I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t run in the Dewhurst (at Newmarket on October 12).”
The race was won in a much faster time than the Moyglare Stud Stakes on the same card – 1.21.82 as against 1.24.28 – and bookmakers were left running for cover on Pinatubo’s Qipco 2000 Guineas price.
Betfair initially went 13-8 from 3-1, but cut that swiftly to 5-4, the same price as Ladbrokes. Boylesports went 4-5 from 3-1.