Pinatubo - The Best Since Frankel?
This Saturday saw Pinatubo extend his winning sequence to claim the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. Ever since his win in the National Stakes at the Curragh the racing media have been describing him as the best since the great Frankel. So far his looks like he could be the most exciting horse since Frankel however the son of Galileo was able to maintain his prowess for three years and had many breath taking performances, which the two-year-old colt will have to match.
Bookmakers have been running scared of Pinatubo on his recent runs and is now a short priced favourite for the 2000 Guineas at current odds 11-10. For me that price is ridiculous for an antepost Guineas favourite as we still have quite a lot of time until April 30th where injuries can occur and other contenders could emerge. Aidan O’Brien has been the maestro of the 2000 Guineas in the last few years and often used the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster as a target for his upcoming stars. The last two winners of the Vertem Futurity has produced the Guineas winner with Saxon Warrior & Magna Grecia and I would like to see how his leading lights perform in that race.
When comparing Aidan O’Brien to Charlie Appleby I would have to say that if I was an owner I would suspect more improvement to come from O’Brien rather than Appleby. O'Brien seems to campaign his horses as developmental projects towards the Classics. For me next year will be the most important year in Charlie Appleby’s career as a trainer with Pinatubo in his hands. He has been the most reliable trainer for Godolphin in recent years but never has had a horse with the potential of Pinatubo. Appleby’s best success was in 2018 when he trained Masar to win the Epsom Derby. The question will be can Pinatubo train on as a three-year-old?
Reflecting on Saturday’s performance I think Pinatubo did enough to beat a fair field with some decent form lines. Arizona, Wichita & Positive were decent runners but nothing in the same league but I expect that all of them will struggle as a three-year-old and that other would emerge. Furthermore I think the ground was against him and if its testing come April I would rather lay than back him.
It’s hard to say what horses are going to be able to take on Pinatubo next year as some of them might not have even appeared at a racecourse yet. Horses such as Enable appeared under the floodlights in November before appearing the followng season to win a classic. Morepver others such as Earthlight, Mogul, Siskin & Palace Pier could all improve to make it hard work for Pinatubo if they line up in the Guineas. So overall I would edge with caution with Pinatubo next year but if he picks up from where he left off he could definitely be one of the stars in the History of Racing.