Much anticipation has been building ahead of the return of Pinatubo, who was the star of the British flat season last year. This saw him become the highest rated European juvenile since 1994. On top of this, Pinatubo was rated higher than the great Frankel at the same time in their careers, finishing with a rating of 128 at the end of his two year old campaign. This was also the highest rating since Celtic Swing in 1994 and Arazi in 1991, who both earnt a rating of 130.
This was following the Charlie Appleby trained horse winning all six of his previous starts, with the key performance coming when winning the Group 1 National Stakes in Ireland by nine lengths from a classy field. He then followed up by winning the Dewhurst in less impressive fashion at Newmarket but he again showed his class to battle on well and win by two lengths from Arizona. The performance at the Curragh in Ireland proved he was a class above the rest last season and why he went into the current season as the overwhelming favourite to land the 2000 Guineas and extend his unbeaten record. This turning out to be an event that has to be postponed due to the current coronavirus pandemic, similar to the Grand National that had to be cancelled. That is already leading to punters looking ahead to offers at grandnational.org.uk for the 2021 edition of the race.
Pinatubo – Vincent O’Brien National Stakes pic.twitter.com/ooWMMoMjhT
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There was lots of confidence behind Pinatubo going into the race and he was sent off with an SP of 5/6, with the stable in flying form. Other key contenders included the likes of Kameko the O’Brien pair of Arizona and Wichita. Pinatubo was prominent from the off and appeared to be travelling well throughout the race. He had to be shaken up from three furlongs out but looked to be mounting a challenge for the lead. However, he was unable to sustain his challenge and could not find any extra in the final 11 yards, finishing in third and being beaten just over a length.
This was a promising performance from Pinatubo, but anything but a spectacular one was also going to lead to negative comments, from a horse being talked about in the same breath as Frankel. The future does still appear bright and he went in as the short priced favourite to go two better at the Royal meeting, with the St James’s Palace stakes his target. However, he was again beaten and will now be looking to return to winning ways in his next start. Kameko beat him in the Guineas and he is now the short priced favourite to land the Derby.