Godolphin’s Pinatubo underlined his status as the best two-year-old in Europe with victory in the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes, the highlight of day two of Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket on Saturday.
The Charlie Appleby-trained Shamardal colt – under stable jockey William Buick – registered his sixth win in six starts with another impressive run to win from Aidan O’Brien Arizona with Ryan Moore atop.
Arizona set the early pace and when Buick stepped on the gas, Pinatubo cruised to the front on the final furlong to put the race to bed and take Godolphin’s Group 1 tally to 27 for the year.
The result also ensures Pinatubo is rated higher than the legendary Frankel at the same stage of his career, and also ends the season as the champion two-year-old colt and winter favourite for next year’s 2,000 Guineas.
“He has been a very special horse this year for all to see,” Appleby said at the post-race interview.
“I’m sure you saw him walking around the paddock – he is a horse that has this demeanour about him.
“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.”
Earlier, Military March led a one-two for Godolphin in the Group 3 Dubai Autumn Stakes.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained New Approach colt under Oisin Murphy battled it out with Appleby’s Al Suhail over the mile trip to record his second win in two starts.
“Military March has been doing well since he won nicely on the July Course and I have always liked him,” Bin Suroor said.
“He is a big, strong horse who looks like he handles any type of ground – it was soft today and he coped with it well. He always tries in the mornings and we have been very happy with his progress.
“We will give him a break and take him back to Dubai. Then we will talk to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid [UAE’s Vice President and Ruler of Dubai], but I hope that he can run in G1 races next year.”