Pinatubo (horse)

Last updated

Owner Godolphin.svg
Racing silks of Godolphin
Sire Shamardal
Grandsire Giant's Causeway
DamLava Flow
Damsire Dalakhani
Foaled11 March 2017 [1]
Country Ireland
Colour Bay
Breeder Godolphin
Trainer Charlie Appleby
Record10: 7-2-1
Major wins
Woodcote Stakes (2019)
Chesham Stakes (2019)
Vintage Stakes (2019)
National Stakes (2019)
Dewhurst Stakes (2019)
Prix Jean Prat (2020)
Cartier Champion Two-year-old Colt (2019)

Pinatubo (foaled 11 March 2017) is a retired Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse. He was the top-rated European two-year-old of 2019 when he was unbeaten in six races including the Woodcote Stakes, Chesham Stakes, Vintage Stakes, National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes. In the following year he won the Prix Jean Prat and was placed in the 2000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes and Prix du Moulin.



Pinatubo is a bay colt bred in Ireland by Godolphin in whose blue colours he races. The colt was sent into training with Charlie Appleby at Godolphin's European base at Newmarket, Suffolk.

He was from the eleventh crop of foals sired by Shamardal whose wins included the Dewhurst Stakes, Poule d'Essai des Poulains, Prix du Jockey Club and St. James's Palace Stakes. His other offspring have included Able Friend, Mukhadram, Lope de Vega and Blue Point. [2]

Pinatubo's dam Lava Flow was a successful racemare who won two races including the Listed Prix de la Seine at Longchamp Racecourse in 2013. [3] Her granddam El Jazirah was a full-sister to Rafha. [4]

Racing career

2019: two-year-old season

Pinatubo began his career in an evening novice race at Wolverhampton on 10 May 2019, beating another Godolphin horse, Platinum Star by 3 1/4 lengths. This was followed by a win in the formerly Listed Woodcote Stakes on Oaks day at Epsom. [5] On 22 Jun 2019, Pinatubo was the 3/1 second favourite for the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot but in the event, beat the favourite, the Aidan O'Brien trained Lope y Fernandez (Round Tower Stakes) by 3 1/4 lengths, breaking the course record in the process. The horse then took a step up to win his first Group race, the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at the Glorious Goodwood meeting by 5 lengths on 30 July. [5]

For his first Group 1 race, the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at The Curragh, he was ridden for the first time by William Buick, who had missed 12 weeks of the season following concussion. [6] Pinatubo was made 1/3 favourite and won by 9 lengths from Armory (Futurity Stakes), with the Racing Post referring to him as a "Ferrari of a racehorse" and trainer Appleby stating "he's the best two-year-old I've ever trained". Comparisons were drawn with two year old performances from horses like Frankel and Arazi. [6] Following this victory, form analysts Timeform rated him the second best two-year-old of the modern era behind Celtic Swing [7]

On 12 October, Pinatubo ended his season in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket and started the 1/3 favourite. His eight opponents included Wichita (winner of the Somerville Tattersall Stakes), Positive (Solario Stakes), Arizona (Coventry Stakes) and Mystery Power (Superlative Stakes). After racing in mid-division he overtook the front-running Arizona in the final furlong to win by two lengths. [8]

In the official ratings for the 2019 season Pinatubo was rated 128, the highest two-year-old rating awarded since Celtic Swing was rated 130 in 1994. [9]

2020: three-year-old season

The flat racing season in England was disrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic and the 2000 Guineas was run a month later than usual on 6 June over the Rowley mile at Newmarket. Pinatubo started the 5/6 favourite against fourteen opponents but finished third behind Kameko and Wichita. Two weeks later the colt started favourite for the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. After racing towards the rear of the field he took the lead approaching the final furlong but was overtaken in the closing stages and beaten a length into second place by Palace Pier. [10]

On 12 July Pinatubo was sent to France and started the 3/5 favourite for the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat, run over 1400 metres at Deauville Racecourse. His ten opponents included Alson, Tropbeau (Prix du Calvados), Molatham (Jersey Stakes), Arizona, Wooded and Kenway (Prix La Rochette). Ridden by Buick, he was restrained towards the rear of the field before moving up to take the lead 200 metres from the finish and kept on well under pressure to win by three quarters of a length from the 40/1 outsider Lope Y Fernandez. [11] Buick commented "He felt really good today. He showed his brilliance, he showed how fast he is, and I think coming back to seven furlongs was a little bit easier for him... At Ascot, he did absolutely nothing wrong and he was just outstayed by a horse who was on the improve and was stronger at that trip on that day. But I think he showed his resilience and constitution to come out of that race and do what he did here". [12]

Pinatubo returned to France for the Prix du Moulin over 1600 metres at Longchamp Racecourse on 12 September, in which he was matched against older horses for the first time. Ridden by Doyle, he went off the 1.4/1 favourite and after racing in fourth place he finished strongly to take second place behind the four-year-old Persian King.

On 9 October it was announced that Pinatubo had been retired from racing and would begin his career as a breeding stallion at the Dalham Hall Stud. [13]

In the 2020 World's Best Racehorse Rankings, Pinatubo was rated on 122, making him the equal twenty-first best racehorse in the world. [14]


Pedigree of Pinatubo (IRE), bay colt, 2017 [1]
Shamardal (USA)
Giant's Causeway
Storm Cat Storm Bird (CAN)
Mariah's Storm Rahy
Helsinki (GB)
Machiavellian (USA) Mr Prospector
Coup de Folie
Helen Street Troy
Waterway (FR)
Lava Flow (IRE)
Dalakhani (IRE)
Darshaan (GB) Shirley Heights
Delsy (FR)
Daltawa Miswaki (USA)
Damana (FR)
Mount Elbrus (GB)
Barathea (IRE) Sadler's Wells (USA)
Brocade (GB)
El Jazirah Kris
Eljazzi (IRE) (Family: 7-a) [4]

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  3. "Lava Flow Race Record & Form". Racing Post.
  4. 1 2 "Vicissitude - Family 7-a". Thoroughbred Bloodlines. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  5. 1 2 "Pinatubo (Ire)". Racing Post. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  6. 1 2 "Wow! Pinatubo in a different league as he destroys rivals in the National Stakes". Racing Post . 15 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
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  8. "Dewhurst Stakes result". Racing Post. 12 October 2019.
  9. Keogh, Frank (22 January 2020). "Pinatubo: Godolphin horse rated best European juvenile since 1994; higher than Frankel". BBC Sport.
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  14. "The 2020 World Thoroughbred Rankings". Retrieved 26 January 2021.