Godolphin colt Pinatubo bounced back to land his first win for the year in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Deauville on Sunday.
William Buick held him in the rear before moving him up from the two-furlong marker and lead inside the last furlong to win from Aidan O’Brien’s Lope Y Fernandez and Marco Botti’s Malotru by three-quarter length and two and-a-half lengths, respectively.
The Sharmadal colt had gone down narrowly in the 2000 Guineas and the St James's Palace Stakes both over the mile trips but proved effective over the seven-furlong trip over his seven rivals.
The champion juvenile in Europe last year was undefeated in six starts and his win came as a relief to his handler Charlie Appleby.
An ecstatic Appleby said he was delighted for Pinatubo and delighted for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai who has had a lot of faith in the horse and the team.
“When you get turned over in those first couple of races, having been favourite for the Guineas, it's hard to take, but we've always felt he's a very courageous horse,” the winning trainer said.
“Even over a mile, I'll take nothing away from the winners, they outstayed us on the day and we were always confident coming back to seven furlongs.
“He's a multiple Group 1 winner at two and now he's won one at three, so I'm delighted for everybody involved. He can have a little rest now and then we'll decide where he goes next.”
Appleby said he would discuss with the owners where Pinatubo should race next but has ruled out the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood festival at the end of the month.
“It's something I'll obviously speak to His Highness about but I would say the Sussex is very unlikely,” he said.
“He's had two weeks from the Guineas to Ascot and three weeks from Ascot to here so I think he deserves a little bit of a break now.
“We'll look at the autumn and whether we'll come back here for the Moulin or stick at seven in the Foret, we'll see. The main thing is he got the job done here which has sealed his three-year-old campaign.”
Appleby and Buick celebrated a treble while Godolphin completed a four-timer at the meeting.
Althiqa rallied strongly to take the Listed Prix Amandine and Royal Crusade landed the Group 3 Prix de Ris-Orangis to complete the three-timer for the trainer-jockey partnership.
Earlier, Earthlight returned to the track in nearly 10 months to stretch his unbeaten run to six by taking the Prix Kistena.
The Andre Fabre-trained colt cruised up to hit the front over a furlong from home and soon quickened away from the field under hands and heels ride from Mickael Barzalona to beat Wanaway by two and a half lengths.
“We are absolutely delighted with Earthlight and he won his race in the style we are accustomed to – he really showed his class,” Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin said.
“This will probably bring him on and I am sure that Andre Fabre and Sheikh Mohammed [bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai] will have a discussion about the rest of his programme this year.”