Abu Dhabi: Godolphin have a new superstar in the ranks, an exciting two-year-old sensation named Pinatubo, who has become the highest-rated juvenile in 25 years following his imperious nine-length victory in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh in Ireland, last weekend.
Bred at Kildangan Stud, Godolphin’s breeding operation in Ireland, Pinatubo is unbeaten in five career starts, which has included eye-popping victory at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.
His latest Timeform rating of 134 is only second to the late Celtic Swing (138) and places him above top-rated horses like Xaar (132), Frankel (128) and Too Darn Hot (127) at this stage of their careers.
And the prospect of him eclipsing Celtic Swing looms large should he win the Group 1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket racecourse on October 10.
“We’re not saying he’s a better horse than Frankel, but so far he has achieved more as a two-year-old than Frankel did,” said Graeme Smith, British Horse Racing Authority’s two-year-old handicapper.
“Frankel went on to achieve a rating of 136 as a three-year-old, and 140 as a four-year-old in 2012, so Pinatubo has still got a lot of improving to do to become the horse Frankel was.”
Smith added: “The more you look through his form, the better it looks, and it’s backed up by very good times.
“The clock doesn’t usually lie — but it’s nice to see him winning in good times by five lengths and nine lengths, as he has on his last couple of starts. It could be that those who might be able to give him a proper examination might duck him to try to win a Group One elsewhere, but we’ll see.”
Appleby described Pinatubo, who takes his name from Mount Pinatubo — an active stratovolcano in the Philippines — as an ‘exciting’ prospect.
“He is exciting and it is great for the team, for all the guys here,” Appleby said following the National Stakes victory.
“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.”
Jockey William Buick was also in awe of the Irish-bred colt. “I haven’t ridden a two-year-old like Pinatubo,” he said. “Quorto was very impressive when he won this race last year — he beat a subsequent Derby winner — but the performance that Pinatubo put in 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.”
Breeder: Kildangan Stud, Kildare, Ireland
Trainer: Charlie Appleby
Sire: Shamardal (USA)
Dam: Lava Flow (IRE)
Top Rated horses of Modern Era
138: Celtic Swing
129: Dream Ahead
127: Too Darn Hot, Lady Aurelia