Charlie Appleby expects Pinatubo to take all the beating when dropping down in trip for Sunday’s Qatar Prix Jean Prat at Deauville.
Last season’s champion two-year-old will revert to seven furlongs for the first time since capturing the Dewhurst at Newmarket last October as he bids to open his account for the current campaign.
Having surrendered his unbeaten record when stepped up to a mile in the 2000 Guineas, the son of Shamardal found only Palace Pier too strong over the same trip on his most recent outing in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Appleby said: “I’m pleased with Pinatubo and he is going there in good order. The drop back to seven looks the most sensible option at this moment in time.
“I’m not saying the horse doesn’t get a mile, but he has been outstayed the last twice now so we are looking forward to hopefully seeing him get his head back in front, then we can build from there.
“The attractive part is we saw how well he travelled at Ascot, coming back on the bridle, which we saw as a two-year-old, so I’m very confident coming back to seven, he is the one they have all got to beat.”
While this will be Pinatubo’s third run in just over a month, Appleby reports the dual Group One scorer to have taken his last race well.
He added: “He worked well last weekend and after Ascot we were happy with him. He had a good blow midweek and he looks in good order.
“The ground is on the easy side there, but he has run well on quick ground and soft ground and I won’t be using that as an excuse going over there.”
The Newmarket handler is also represented by Well Of Wisdom, who will be seeking to complete a hat-trick of wins following victories at Meydan and Sandown last time.
Appleby added: “Well Of Wisdom is in there on his own merits. He put up two good performances on his last two starts at Meydan and in a competitive handicap at Sandown.
“He is going over there to take this in, en route to having a go at the Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood.”
Connections of the Roger Varian-trained Molatham expect the race to act as a guide for the rest of the season for the Jersey Stakes winner.
Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “We were delighted with him, obviously, at Ascot. He’s a horse we’re just getting to know – what we don’t know is what his optimum trip is going to be.
“Seven furlongs is well within his capabilities. It’s just a question of has he the speed for a shorter trip? We’re thinking possibly the Maurice de Gheest over six and a half furlongs in August at Deauville if he seems to have the speed.
“We’ll just see on Sunday if he has the speed to win a Group One over a shorter trip or do we need to go up to a mile with him.”
Ralph Beckett believes Kinross can build on an encouraging sixth in the 2000 Guineas having enjoyed a trouble-free preparation in comparison to the build-up to last month’s 2000 Guineas.
Beckett said: “His work has been good since the Guineas and it is the last really big chance he has to run against his own age group at this level.
“In terms of experience, he looked like a boy against men in the 2000 Guineas, but he had a stop-start prep going to the race.
“He had blip in January and one at the start of April, so we didn’t have proper run at the Guineas, but we have had a proper run since the Guineas.
“Coming back in trip doesn’t worry me as he has got plenty of boot, but he will need it on Sunday.”
The Marco Botti-trained Malotru, who was last sighted finishing second in the Pavilion Stakes at Newcastle, provides further British interest in the race.
Heading the home challenge is the Andre Fabre-trained pair of Alson and Tropbeau, along with Wooded from the yard of Francis-Henri Graffard.
Aidan O’Brien will rely on Arizona and Lope Y Fernandez.