Godolphin are truly back to their powerful best now; an opinion confirmed this month with startling wins first for Arc hopeful Ghaiyyath and now by the stunning performance put in by juvenile Pinatubo in the National Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.
Pinatubo the Champion Juvenile
Pinatubo is now a perfect five from five in his fledgling career but, while that reads impressively, he did not exactly explode onto the scene in the style of horses such as Frankel or Too Darn Hot.
Instead the son of Shamardal has shown huge improvement race on race after he made a winning debut at Wolverhampton back in May, in fact he was as workmanlike as he was classy in the Listed Woodcote Stakes at Epsom on Oaks day but reached a new level at Royal Ascot.
Stepping up to seven furlongs for the Chesham Stakes, he readily took care of hot favourite Lope Y Fernandez to score by more than three lengths and even at that point he was not considered a superstar as such.
Things changed though when he took the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood with a stunning five-length win under James Doyle who had been deputising for the injured William Buick, bookmakers quoting him as short as 11/4 for the 2000 Guineas in May.
With Buick back in the saddle at the Curragh for the National Stakes and the horse stepping into Group 1 company for the first time, even at 1/3 favourite many didn’t expect that there would be more to come, but oh my how they were wrong.
Travelling sweetly in behind, Pinatubo got to the front at the three-furlong mark and was allowed some reign by Buick a fair way from home. From there he showed a devastating turn of foot to scorch clear and he did not stop, coming fully nine lengths clear of proven candidates Armory and Arizona of Aidan O’Brien’s yard.
That win has led to him being rated higher than the mighty Frankel at the same stage of his career, with bookmakers going as short as 6/5 now for the first classic of 2020. He may not be finished yet either, as the race seemed to take little out of him so despite already being described as the rightful champion 2-year-old of the year, he will probably now line up in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket where he could solidify his reputation even more.
Ghaiyyath the Danger to Enable in the Arc
As if Pinatubo’s heroics aren’t enough, the Boys in Blue also have a four-year-old superstar on their hands now in the shape of Ghaiyyath.
Always highly thought of by Charlie Appleby, the Dubawi colt has now come to himself and was sent to Germany for the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden at the start of the month where he put in an astounding performance to win by a comfortable 14 lengths.
That led to him being given a rating of 127, much to the chagrin of those who believe races won in such territories are by definition weak, but it’s clear to those in the know that he is a 130-horse which makes him of the very highest standard and in fact he could well be the party pooper in France on October 6th when he takes on Enable who is looking to land an unprecedented third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.