Pinatubo's 128 rating puts Frankel in shade

Appleby’s brilliant colt is officially best juvenile this century

  • Tuesday 24 September
  • News
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Pinatubo is the highest-rated juvenile in 25 years following his sensational performance in the National Stakes.

Charlie Appleby’s charge extended his unbeaten record to five with a jaw-dropping display at the Curragh earlier this month – passing the post nine lengths clear of a pair of Group Two winners in Futurity victor Armory and his Coventry Stakes-winning stablemate Arizona.

The British Horseracing Authority’s two-year-old handicapper Graeme Smith has handed Pinatubo a revised rating of 128 – putting him 2lb ahead of the great Frankel, who ended his juvenile season in 2010 as the joint top-rated of his generation along with Dream Ahead.

Smith said: “You’ve got to be very impressed with what he has done so far, haven’t you?

“We’re not saying he’s a better horse than Frankel, but so far he has achieved more as a two-year-old than Frankel did.

“Frankel went on to achieve a rating of 136 as a three-year-old, and 140 as a four-year-old in 2012, so Pinatubo has still got a lot of improving to do to become the horse Frankel was.”

The last two-year-old to be rated higher than Pinatubo was Celtic Swing, with a mark of 130 in 1994.

Honourable mentions must also go to New Approach – rated 126 following an unbeaten juvenile year in 2007 – and Xaar, who was 1lb higher on 127 a decade earlier.

Smith added: “Pinatubo is the highest-rated two-year-old since Celtic Swing, who was rated 130 after winning the Racing Post Trophy by 12 lengths in 1994, with the runner-up Annus Mirabilis having previously won the Somerville Tattersalls Stakes.

“Another horse you can compare him to is Xaar – rated 127 after winning the Dewhurst by seven lengths from Tamarisk, who had previously won a maiden and a couple of conditions races.

“In my opinion, Pinatubo has achieved more than Xaar but not quite as much as Celtic Swing, although 128 is his current rating and not his end-of-season rating.”

Pinatubo looks set to be given one final outing this autumn in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes on October 12, but whether he is able to further increase his rating remains to be seen.

“The more you look through his form, the better it looks, and it’s backed up by very good times,” said Smith.

“The clock doesn’t usually lie – but it’s nice to see him winning in good times by five lengths and nine lengths, as he has on his last couple of starts,” said Smith.

“On the clock alone, you could rate him in the mid-130s.

“We’ll see what turns up to take him on in the Dewhurst. It could be that those who might be able to give him a proper examination might duck him to try to win a Group One elsewhere, but we’ll see.”

Pinatubo's 128 rating puts Frankel in shade
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