Godolphin’s Pinatubo and Old Persian clinch G1 victories - GulfToday

Godolphin’s Pinatubo and Old Persian clinch G1 victories


William Buick rides Charlie Appleby-trained Pinatubo towards the finish line during the G1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes in Curragh, Ireland, on Sunday.

Pinatubo cemented his position as Europe’s top two-year-old as he stormed to a stunning nine-length victory in the G1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland, on Sunday.

The Shamardal colt, coming into the seven-furlong contest on the back of four wins from as many starts for Charlie Appleby, disputed fifth early on before moving up to a close fourth at the half-way stage.

Pinatubo travelled strongly under William Buick and cruised up to hit the front on the bridle approaching the two-furlong marker.

He was asked to win his race soon after and powered clear entering the final furlong before staying on well for a comprehensive success in a quick time of 1m 21.82s on good ground, with G2 Futurity Stakes winner Armory coming home a distant second.

Appleby said: “A huge credit must go to the whole team at home. They have done a fantastic job looking after this horse and it is great for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to have a home-bred like Pinatubo doing what he is doing.

“We worked him with some nice horses mid-week just to give myself a bit of confidence, more so than the horse.

“He is the best horse that I have ever had as a two-year-old, there is no doubt about it.

“He is exciting and it is great for the team, for all the guys here.

“He was raised at Kildangan Stud, so it is great for all the guys there as well. I am just in a very lucky position to be able to train him.

“Today’s race has ridden like a piece of work, so I see no reason why Pinatubo won’t potentially turn up in the G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes (7f, Newmarket onOct. 12).

Buick said: “I haven’t ridden a two-year-old like Pinatubo. Quorto was very impressive when he won this race last year – he beat a subsequent Derby winner – but the performance that Pinatubo put in today was special.

“We saw him do something similar at Goodwood but today was a proper G1 and it was a hugely exciting performance. It felt as good as it looked.

“He is a very relaxed individual at home, a very laid-back horse, which is great.

“He has a great temperament and adapts to all different circumstances, whether it be in a race or anything that can be thrown at him.

“He was mightily impressive today. He just keeps lengthening and quickening right up to the winning line. He is a hugely exciting horse.”

Elsewhere, Old Persian gained a second G1 victory over a mile and a half with a dominant display in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at the Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada, on Saturday.

The Charlie Appleby-trained four-year-old, victorious in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan, UAE, in March, was slowly into his stride but soon recovered to race in a clear third as Cooler Mike tore off into an uncontested lead.

Old Persian went second as Cooler Mike faded turning for home and the Dubawi colt stayed on well to take up the running from Tiz A Slam a furlong and a half out.

He readily opened up daylight over his five rivals and was eased on the line by James Doyle to beat Nessy by two and a half lengths in 2m 27.78s on good ground.

Alex Merriam of Godolphin said: “Old Persian didn’t run great in the Coronation Cup at Epsom, but that was coming back after a good effort in Dubai, and we were pleased enough with his run in Germany.

“They have gone a strong gallop today, which suited Old Persian, and James has given him a nice ride. It has worked out well.

“I have spoken to Charlie and we will see how Old Persian comes out of this race before deciding where to go next.”

Doyle said: “I think the rain that fell during the week here definitely played to our strengths. The track is in great condition, it has dried throughout the day, and it’s a beautiful racing surface.

“From the minute Old Persian stepped on the track, he wasn’t really concentrating 100 per cent.

“He was more enjoying the crowd rather than what was going on in front of him, which is amazing because he has run some cracking races at Meydan and there is no bigger stand than there.

“I was a bit concerned early on. He missed the break, but they went pretty quick and we were able to muster some speed down the fence to secure a bit of space.

“We had a very clean trip the whole way through and he is a powerful stayer over this trip with a good turn of foot.

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