Is Pinatubo a 2000 Guineas certainty?

Pinatubo Is the clear favourite in the 2000 Guineas betting following his National Stakes victory
Pinatubo Is the clear favourite in the 2000 Guineas betting following his National Stakes victory

Following his deeply impressive victory in the National Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday, Sean Raymond takes a long-term look at Pinatubo's career, and whether he can make up into a serious 2000 Guineas contender next season...

The end of the Flat season may be fast approaching on the horizon, but this past weekend saw one of the highlights of the campaign as Pinatubo scorched to victory in the National Stakes.

The Godolphin colt maintained his unbeaten record in no uncertain terms with a nine-length victory at the Curragh, and it was a performance which has earned the horse rave reviews.

Four wins out of four had seen expectations rise, with the son of Shamardal starting the Group 1 race in Ireland as the 1/3 favourite on Sunday, but even his most ardent of supporters would have been impressed with career win number five. Ridden by William Buick, Pinatubo bolted clear when asked to do so, and attention is now turning to the future for one of the most exciting juvenile horses in recent memory.

Comparisons to the great Frankel are already being made, with both the Racing Post and Timeform rating the Godolphin horse clear of the Sir Henry Cecil trained superstar at the same age.

The fact a highly-touted horse, in the form of the Aidan O'Brien-trained Armoury, didn't see which way the winner went suggests that it could be top-drawer form.

Time will tell just how good Pinatubo is in 2020 but the early signs are extremely positive and the racing world will be keeping their fingers crossed that they may just have found the next equine hero.

2000 Guineas 2020
Pinatubo silk

Pinatubo

As is the case in racing, we are always looking ahead and that means the Pinatubo hype train is now in full steam ahead mode with regards to the classics.

It is no surprise to see the 2000 Guineas talked up as the key early season target for the Charlie Appleby-trained star and the ante-post market has been shaken up in the hours since the National Stakes success.

Punters wanting to back Pinatubo for glory on the Rowley Mile in May will only find a price of 5/4 with bet365, having been as big as 3/1 prior to his victory at the HQ of Irish Flat racing. It's a skinny price for sure given the time there is between now and Newmarket Races, but it is a reflection of just how impressive Pinatubo was at the weekend with a mile expected to prove ideal.

The Derby at Epsom will also be a potential target for the Godolphin horse over the winter, though whether he will take his chance in races over a mile and a half next season is far less certain at this stage.

Sharmardal was a French Derby winner himself (over 10f) and there are bits and pieces of stamina in his progeny, but Pinatubo showed scorching speed at the weekend over seven furlongs and it would have to be taken on faith at this stage that the Derby would be a target.

Nevertheless, the bookmakers are clearly looking to stay on the right side of the horse, and as such he is the favourite for the Epsom classic in June, with bet365 now rating the best juvenile in training as the 6/1 favourite for the Epsom classic.

Today's Racecards
Epsom Derby 2020
Pinatubo silk

Pinatubo

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