'Exciting' Pinatubo leaves opposition in his wake with impressive victory for Godolphin at the Curragh

Trainer Appleby hails horse as 'the best two-year-old I have trained' after winning the Group 1 Vincent O'Brien National Stakes

KILDARE, IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 15: William Buick riding Pinatubo win The Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at Curragh Racecourse on September 15, 2019 in Kildare, Ireland. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Charlie Appleby hailed Pinatubo as “the best two-year-old I have trained” after the Godolphin colt trounced his rivals in the Group 1 Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Buick raced in fifth before moving Pinatubo between horses to the front at the two-furlong pole and son of Shamardal pulled away to win by nine lengths and underline his status as the best two year-old in Europe.

The Aiden O’Brien’s pair Armory under Ryan Moore and Arizona with the trainer’s son Donnacha O'Brien atop finished second and third respectively over the seven-furlong trip.

“A huge credit must go to the whole team at home,” Appleby said in his post-race interview. “They have done a fantastic job looking after this horse and it is great for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed [bin Rashid, UAE’s Vice President and Ruler of Dubai] to have a home-bred like Pinatubo doing what he is doing.

“We worked him with some nice horses mid-week just to give myself a bit of confidence, more so than the horse. He is the best horse that I have ever had as a two-year-old; there is no doubt about it.

“He is exciting and it is great for the team, for all the guys here. 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.

“Today’s race has ridden like a piece of work, so I see no reason why Pinatubo won’t potentially turn up in the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes [at Newmarket on October 12].

“Those are nice discussions to have with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the team.”

Pinatubo was recording his fifth win in five starts, and in the process picked up his biggest career prize after starting his career in a novice stakes at Wolverhampton on May 10.

Winning jockey William Buick, who steered Quorto to victory in last year's National Stakes, was amazed by Pinatubo’s performance.

“Quorto won this race last year and was very impressive when he won it but the performance Pinatubo put in here was special,” he said.

“That was a hugely exciting performance – it felt as good as it looked. He has a great temperament and adapts to all circumstances. He was mightily impressive and kept lengthening and quickening all the way to the line.”

In the Irish St Leger, two races later, Godolphin’s Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter could fourth behind the Chris Hayes-ridden Search For A Song.

Elsewhere in France, Musis Amica was runner up behind the Frankie Dettori-ridden Star Catcher in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp.