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Beaten 2,000 Guineas favourite Pinatubo set for Royal Ascot outing in St James's Palace Stakes




Saturday’s QIPCO 2,000 Guineas may not have gone to plan, but Newmarket trainer Charlie Appleby is planning to give Pinatubo his second chance over the mile at Royal Ascot next week.

The son of Shamardal headed into the Rowley Mile contest as the odds-on favourite following a 2019 campaign in which he had won on all six of his starts.

That form influenced his rating of 128, the highest awarded since Celtic Swing (130) in 1994, and a greater figure than the legendary Frankel.

Kameko (Oisin Murphy,left) wins the Qipco 2000 Guineas from Wichita (2nd right) and Pinatubo (right).Newmarket 6.6.20 Pic: Edward Whitaker. (36387745)
Kameko (Oisin Murphy,left) wins the Qipco 2000 Guineas from Wichita (2nd right) and Pinatubo (right).Newmarket 6.6.20 Pic: Edward Whitaker. (36387745)

But the Godolphin horse could only muster a third-placed finish on the Rowley Mile, coming home behind winner Kameko and the Frankie Dettori-ridden Wichita.

However, Moulton Paddocks-based Appleby has no intention of writing Pinatubo off over a mile, and is planning to send him to the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes on June 20.

“Pinatubo travelled well into the race when he had Frankie’s (Dettori) horse (Wichita) as his target but when he made his move he got up to their girths and just didn’t go any further forward,” said Appleby, who is still searching for his first Newmarket Classic victory.

Dubai Future Champions Festival Saturday. PinatuboPicture by Mark Westley. (36375049)
Dubai Future Champions Festival Saturday. PinatuboPicture by Mark Westley. (36375049)

“Obviously I’m disappointed as it’s the first time he’s been beaten but at least he hasn’t fallen out the back of the telly.

“He’s had a normal blow after. The first impression would be to take him to the St James’s Palace Stakes but we’ll speak to connections when we get him home.

“If he’s okay physically there’s no reason why we can’t turn him around for Ascot as it’s a meeting everyone likes and hopefully owners will be able to go by then.”