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Pinatubo has 'grown and strengthened over the winter' : Appleby

  • The Godolphin trainer believes the star galloper will be a much-improved horse
James Doyle riding Pinatubo wins The Qatar Vintage Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse (Getty Images)

Pinatubo has 'grown and strengthened over the winter' : Appleby

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby believes 2000 Guineas favourite Pinatubo has improved over his winter spell and will be an improved horse by the time he races next month.

The Shamardal colt was unbeaten in six starts as a juvenile, culminating in Group One wins in the National Stakes at the Curragh and the Dewhurst at Newmarket.

Pinatubo is the 1.90 favourite to win the 2000 Guineas with Bet365.

Appleby told Godolphin.com that while he's being circumspect about just how better the horse will be in his return, he's anticipating his winter break will have helped Pinatubo both phsyically and mentally.

“We are not going to have conclusive proof until the 2000 Guineas on June 6, but my gut feeling is that Pinatubo has trained on," Appleby said.

"No buttons will be pressed until the big day but from what we are seeing at home, he has gone the right way. Mentally, I see no change in him. His demeanour is the same from two to three. He remains totally relaxed.

“Physically, though, I do see change. He has grown and strengthened over the winter.

“You can also tell he is an experienced racehorse now. He goes about his business professionally, and nothing fazes him.”

Pinatubo was given an official rating of 128 at the end of his juvenile campaign, making him the best juvenile since Celtic Swing achieved a figure of 130 in 1994. 

Big-race rider William Buick has also recently reunited with the colt and Appleby added: “On Saturday, William Buick came to Moulton Paddocks to sit on Pinatubo for the first time since the Dewhurst last October, and he was very pleased with him.

“William said he gave him the same feel as when he rode him at two.

“We were pleased with his work. It was nice and simple and he went about it in his usual professional straightforward manner. We were delighted the way he finished off the gallop, over six furlongs.

“It was not a test. It was a piece of work to bring him on, and we now look forward to the final stages of his preparation for the Guineas.”

The 2000 Guineas could be the most testing race of the three-year-old's career to date, but Appleby believes Pinatubo has the characteristics to "give a very good account of himself".

“I think the mile is going to be his trip," he said.

"I believe that because of his mental attitude. He is a relaxed character, and if he was later asked to step up in trip, I think he has the right mindset for it.

“As for his physical attributes, he won six races as a juvenile, and three of them were on three of Britain’s most challenging courses — Epsom, Goodwood and Newmarket. His athleticism is a key asset.

“He has pleased me in his work in preparation for the Guineas, and provided there are no hiccups, I think he will give a very good account of himself.”

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