Charlie Appleby’s super colt Pinatubo has returned to his winning ways to claim the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville on Sunday.
Pinatubo has notched an emphatic victory to take out the Qatar Prix Jean Prat at Deauville.
Appleby’s star colt was crowned last season’s champion two-year-old after an unbeaten run of six victories, however things hadn’t quite gone to plan so far in his three-year-old season.
Pinatubo could manage only third place in the 2000 Guineas last month where he was favourite before finishing second in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Entered into the Prix Jean Prat and dropped back to seven furlongs, Pinatubo had a moment where he got himself held up in traffic with fellow British horse Molatham blocking him into a pocket, causing his backers to sweat.
But once the field turned for home and the gap opened up, Pinatubo’s motor opened as he pulled clear with a ferocious turn of foot to bolt ahead of the field to win comfortably in the end.
William Buick never looked worried on top of the Godolphin-owned colt, and it proved telling in the finish.
Lope Y Fernandez finished second for trainer Aidan O’Brien while Marco Botti’s Malotru finished third just ahead of Wooded.
“I’m delighted first and foremost for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed – another Group One-winning son of Shamardal for him – and I’m delighted for the horse, obviously,” said Appleby.
“It sounds strange, but I felt he lost nothing in defeat in the Guineas or at Ascot.
“He went out with his heart on his sleeve and just got outgunned in the last 50 yards of both races.
“I came here today with plenty of confidence, to be honest.
“We knew dropping back to seven furlongs would be his bag – and while it was a bit of a rough race, as William said afterwards, when you’re riding a horse like him everything just seems so easy.
“The horse deserved that today, and I’m thrilled for him.”
Appleby was still coy about Pinatubo’s next assignment, falling short of nominating his next race.
“I don’t think we’ll be going to Goodwood for the Sussex, personally. He’s had three fairly quick runs at the top level now, and we might be better giving him a little bit more time.
“If we decided we wanted to stretch him out to a mile again, the obvious race is the Prix du Moulin, or if we wanted to stick at seven we could just wait for the Prix de la Foret before looking at taking him to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.”