On last year’s form, Pinatubo is a deserving odds-on favourite to take this afternoon’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and, if Charlie Appleby’s colt is successful, it will be the seventh win of a thus-far perfect career.
An exceptional juvenile, the highlight of his six victories last season was his wide-margin success in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh.
On that occasion, he finished nine lengths clear of runner-up Armory, with one of today’s leading rivals, Arizona, a neck further back.
The latter reduced the gap to a couple of lengths in the Dewhurst but he was still second best, and quite well put in his place.
Unquestionably, Pinatubo was a top-drawer juvenile and is, by some margin, the most likely winner.
Even at cramped odds, he will likely make plenty of appeal to punters, but there are enough high-class sorts in opposition which are priced to make them appealing against the favourite.
Apart from the market leader, Kameko is the only other Group 1 winner in the field, having won the Vertem Futurity (formerly Racing Post Trophy), which was switched from Doncaster to Newcastle’s all-weather track. He has been strong in the betting in recent days, which is certainly worth taking note of, but he is likely be better when racing over a longer trip.
Like Pinatubo, Military March and Al Suhail are owned by Godolphin and either of them putting it up to the favourite would be no surprise. They are closely matched on last season’s form, more than a stone inferior to Pinatubo, but both make appeal as likely improvers and should be vying for a place in the frame, at least.
On ratings, Kinross has plenty to find with most of his rivals, and certainly has a bit to find with Kameko on Newcastle form. However, Ralph Beckett’s horse was tremendously impressive on his first start, in October, and is easily forgiven his defeat in the Group 1 as it came less than a month after he made his belated debut.
Sent off favourite that day, he was far from disgraced and can be expected to step up considerably having had plenty of time to soak up the experience. His trainer has Classic success on his CV, having won the Epsom Oaks in 2008 and 2013, and the Doncaster St Leger in 2015 and, in Kinross, he has another high-class prospect on his hands. Against a potential superstar in the shape of Pinatubo, he makes each-way appeal.
Tomorrow’s 1000 Guineas looks to have much less depth than the 2000, and Quadrilateral can extend her perfect sequence to four by taking the feature for Roger Charlton. She had two of tomorrow’s rivals, Love and Boomer, behind when winning the Fillies’ Mile in October and, while she should improve for a longer trip, there was a lot to like about performance that win over course and distance.
She should make an even better three-year-old and can take this.