Shamardal's Pinatubo Stays Perfect in Dewhurst Stakes
Mark Smith - Sunday October 13

It's exciting to contemplate that in the not too distant future the imperious Pinatubo may shuttle to Australia but in the meantime, we get to marvel at his exploits on the track.

The 2yo son of Shamardal (USA) kept his season at a perfect six for six when winning Saturday's Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

For sure his two-length win over Coolmore's Arizona was more workmanlike than when he left the No Nay Never colt nine lengths in his wake in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh but he was attacking the line strongly at the end of the seven furlongs. Another son of No Nay Never, Wichita, was a further two and three-quarter lengths back in third. (image Newmarket Racecourse)


Two of the other four stakes races on the card at Newmarket went to a colt and a filly by Shamardal's outstanding son Lope De Vega (IRE).

The Ralph Beckett-trained 2yo colt Max Vega, who like Pinatubo is out of a mare by former Cornerstone shuttler Dalakhani, took his season record to two wins and a second from three starts with a three-length victory in the Group III Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes (10f).

It was another Ralph Beckett-trainee, the 3yo filly Feliciana De Vega, who also had a winning margin of three lengths in the Group III Darley Stakes (9f).

But the hero of the day was undoubtedly Pinatubo who started his juvenile year at Wolverhampton and ended it as one of the most talked-about horses on the planet.

"He has been a very special horse this year for all to see," winning trainer Charlie Appleby told Sporting Life.

"I'm sure you saw him walking around the paddock - he is a horse that has this demeanour about him that you can't get excited about in the mornings. I'd be making it up to say he was a 'wow' horse.

"In the mornings he goes about his business and I said to Will (Buick) before I legged him up, 'you would think he is an older horse walking around in a handicap here'.

"He showed great courage today. He travelled nicely, but in this ground he had to dig deep. Will gave him a fantastic ride and once he came to the fight he wasn't going to lie down.

"People asked if we were running a risk running him again as he'd already had five runs this year but if you are a boxer going into the ring, you want plenty of experience behind you when it comes to a dogfight.

"He has been there on every occasion - he went to Epsom on Derby day, he went to Royal Ascot and Goodwood and Ireland. He's been up and down dale and brought a wealth of experience to the table, as well as an engine.

"Someone asked me earlier what was the nicest horse to train and I said Blue Point as he got me excited in the mornings and in the afternoons. I could set my clock by him as he was electric.

"This horse galloped in midweek again, rolled upsides his lead horse and the choke is out! He doesn't fill you full of confidence coming into Group Ones, but as long as he keeps turning up in the afternoons I'm not too worried what he does in the mornings now.

"For sure (we dream) and it will help shorten the winter. In terms of where he will spend the winter, that has got to be spoken about."