Appleby believes Pinatubo’s youthful sensation is “bigger and stronger” if he wants to imitate Frankel
Trainer Charlie Appleby says his gut feeling is that Pinatubo “trained” prior to his attempt to follow in the footsteps of the mighty Frankel in the Qipco 2000 Guineas on Newmarket on June 6.
Winner of all his six races in 2019, including the Group One National Stakes in the Curragh and Group One Dewhurst Stakes in Newmarket, Pinatubo is an odd favorite for the delayed first Classic on the Flat season.
He will go to Newmarket after being the highest rated European two-year-old since Celtic Swing in 1994 and with its juvenile form rated better than Frankel, breathtaking six-length winner of the 2011 Guineas 2000, by a panel of European handicappers.
Pinatubo (above) ready to start his Classic campaign, starting in the 2,000 Guineas
Appleby added, “We won’t have conclusive evidence until the 2000 Guineas, but my feeling is that Pinatubo has trained.
“No buttons will be pressed until the big day, but from what we see at home, he’s gone in the right direction. Mentally I see no change in him. His behavior is the same from two to three. He remains completely relaxed.
“Physically, however, I see change. It has grown and strengthened in winter. You can also see that he is now an experienced racehorse. He made me happy with his work in preparation for the Guineas. ‘
Appleby thinks the 2,000 Guineas mile will be the optimal distance for Pinatubo, but the trainer left the door ajar for a mile-long Investec Derby slope in Epsom now scheduled for July 4.
Charlie Appleby believes that the childhood feeling will be perfectly fine for his date with fate
Pinatubo is an 11-2 favorite for that race.
Appleby said, “I think the mile will be his journey. I think because of his mental attitude. He is a relaxed character and if later asked to travel, I think he has the right attitude for that. ‘
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent race abandonment greatly disrupted the race program, requiring trainers to change their plans while continuing to train within social distance and biosecurity guidelines.
The trainer said, “Everyone at Godolphin has continued to work incredibly hard over the past few months. Despite the inevitable fear many have felt because of the pandemic, it is morally good.
“On Saturday, William Buick came to Moulton Paddocks to sit on Pinatubo for the first time since the Dewhurst in October and he was very pleased with him.
“William said he made him feel the same as when he was driving at two o’clock. It was fun and easy, and he did it in his usual professional, straightforward way. We were delighted with the way he finished the gallop, more than six furlongs.
“It was not a test. It was a piece of work to arouse him and we are now looking forward to the final stages of his preparation for the Guineas. ”
Appleby and Godolphin supremo Sheik Mohammed decided to keep Pinatubo in Newmarket during the winter instead of taking him into the warmer climate of Dubai, something Godolphin does with some of their horses.
Appleby added, “It was decided that he would stay at home in Newmarket in a familiar environment. It was a decision by His Highness Sheik Mohammed and myself for the simple reasons that he didn’t want to change his training style or where he trained. ‘
After winning on his Wolverhampton debut in May last year, Pinatubo’s form took a big leap forward with wins at the Woodcote Stakes in Epsom, Chesham Stakes in Royal Ascot and Vintage Stakes in Glorious Goodwood.
Pinatubo’s top performances came at the National Stakes in Curragh in September when he beat Armory nine lengths.
He ended the season with a more fierce but still decisive Arizona victory in the Dewhurst Stakes on soft Octobver ground.
Looking back on Dewhurst’s performance, Appleby added: “It was the perfect ending to a great season and being the best two-year-old in 25 years on official ratings was the icing on the cake.
“Judged now, I think it was a characterful victory. It came after a fantastic nine-length win in the National Stakes and you could hardly have expected him to repeat that on the Rowley Mile on soft ground he had never experienced before.
“He passed well and galloped strongly at the end of a long season. His debut was on May 10. ‘
Appleby also hopes to lead Al Suhail in the 2,000 Guineas. He finished third in Positive in the Solario Stakes 2019 in Sandown and came in second in Military March in the Autumn Stakes in Newmarket.
Appleby said: “Al Suhail has worked well and we will see if we can run him on Newmarket in the 2000 Guineas to help him on the run to run in the Derby.
“He is a very interesting foal. He’s got a lot of natural pace, but his pedigree suggests he should stay the Derby trip (he’s from Dubawi from an Oaks runner-up Shirocco Star).
“I was happy with his second military march on the fall stakes when he went well on the line and they were seven lengths free from the third.
Appleby is ready to hit the ground with his stable hopefully starting the season on June 1.
He’s aiming for a group-winning five-year-old Ghaiyyath, who won the Dubai Millenium Stakes at Meydan in Dubai in February, at the Coronation Cup at Newmarket on June 5.
Barney Roy, the winner of St James’s Palace Stakes 2017 for trainer Richard Hannon, who joined the Appleby stable last year after proving infertile goes to the Prince Of Wales bet on Royal Ascot.
Barney Roy is already a group one winner in 2020 and won the Jebel Hatta in Meydan in March.
Two-year-old Appleby chooses to keep an eye out for his Frankel stallion Magical Land – ‘an early type, who should be running soon’ – and Creative Force, a son of Dubawi who ‘has a lot of natural speed,’ according to his trainer.
Noble Dynsty, a son of Dubawi and half-brother of Barney Roy, who became the most expensive yearling foal in the world in 2019 when it sold for 3.6 million guineas, is another to look out for.