- It’s the moment of truth for Pinatubo on Saturday, as Charlie Appleby’s unbeaten three-year-old bids to emulate Frankel by winning the rescheduled 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
The late Sir Henry Cecil trained the wonder horse to win the first classic of the season by a remarkable 6l back in 2011. Now the question is whether Pinatubo can live up to his billing and produce something similar.
There’s not long left to find out, and with the Dahlia Fillies’ Stakes and the Palace House also featuring on ITV’s seven-race card, it’s sure to be a magnificent afternoon at HQ.
Race of the Day – 2000 Guineas – Newmarket, 15:35
What is there left to say about Pinatubo that hasn’t already been said? The horse named after a volcano in the Philippines erupted onto the scene as a two-year-old, earning a freakish Official Rating of 128.
The son of Sharmadal demolished all before him last term, racking up a 5l success in the Vintage Stakes, a 2l win in the Dewhurst and most memorably a 9l thrashing of his rivals in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.
He’ll go off as the odds-on favourite for this, with the only real question over whether he’s trained on. If he hasn’t, then our traders reckon the scopey Arizona is best placed to take advantage for Aidan O’Brien.
The Ballydoyle supremo has won the 2000 Guineas in each of the last three seasons but will need Arizona to turn around the form with the favourite, while O’Brien’s runners aren’t renowned for their form first time out.
There are plenty of potential outside plays, too, including Kenzai Warrior for Roger Teal, who trained a 50/1 runner up in the race in 2018, and Mums Tipple, who won a York seller by a huge 11ll last term.
Next Best – Dahlia Fillies’ Stakes – Newmarket, 14:25
It’s hard not to be taken in by the credentials of Terebellum here. John Gosden’s filly has only had four career starts to date, which makes last season’s victory in a Group 2 at Deauville all the more impressive.
There should be more to come from the low-mileage four-year-old, but she will face competition from fellow Godolphin runner Magic Lily, who was second in a Group 1 behind Barney Roy last term.
Queen Power is also a contender for a King Power team who have been in decent nick since racing returned.
The filly won a Listed event last term before finishing fourth in a strong renewal of the Ribblesdale and then disappointing at Windsor. She’ll need more here but can put it up to the big two in the market.
One to Watch – Palace House Stakes – Newmarket, 13:50
With no Mabs Cross to complete a hat-trick in the Palace House this year it could be down to Shades of Blue to continue her progression from 2019 and land a first Group contest.
Clive Cox’s charge won a Listed event last term and was narrowly touched off on several occasions, including by eventual Prix de l’Abbaye winner Glass Slippers when runner-up in a French Group 3.
She certainly has the pace to get involved on each-way terms, with Far Above, Judicial and Major Jumbo, who finished third in this contest 12 months ago, looking like the main challenges.
ITV Racing Schedule:
13:50 Newmarket – Palace House Stakes (Group 3)
14:05 Newcastle – Heed Your Hunch Handicap
14:25 Newmarket – Dahlia Fillies’ Stakes (Group 2)
14:40 Newcastle – Sagaro Stakes (Group 3)
15:00 Newmarket – Newmarket Stakes (Listed)
15:15 Newcastle – Heed Your Hunch Handicap
15:35 Newmarket – 2000 Guineas (Group 1)
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication