Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

Godolphin's Pinatubo aims to bounce back at Ascot after perfect record ends in 2000 Guineas

St James' Palace Stakes the likely next outing for the Charlie Appleby-trained horse

Kameko, left, ridden Oisin Murphy approaches the finish line to win the 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse. Getty Images
Kameko, left, ridden Oisin Murphy approaches the finish line to win the 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse. Getty Images

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby said Pinatubo will be head to Ascot for the St James' Palace Stakes following his first career defeat in the Group 1 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

Pinatubo went into the first English Classic undefeated in six starts and the strong favourite to claim a seventh win, but came up short behind winner Kameko, under British champion jockey Oisin Murphy, and Frankie Dettori on board Wichita over the one mile trip.

“Pinatubo travelled well into the race there when he had Frankie's [Dettori] horse as his target, but when he made his move he got up to their girths and just didn't go any further forward,” Appleby said.

“Obviously, I'm disappointed as it's the first time the horse has been beaten in his career, but at least he hasn't fallen out of the back of the telly.

“He's had a normal blow after that and we'll take him home, but the first impression would be to take him to the St James's Palace Stakes."

Murphy was on top of the world after winning his first British Classic on the Andrew Balding-trained Kameko.

Murphy produced an exhilarating late challenge to cross the finish line a neck ahead of Wichita. William Buick, atop Pinatubo, was a further length down in third and another Godolphin runner, Military March, was fourth in the 15-runner field.

“I've never won a Classic in Britain and it means the absolute world to me. It's the stuff of dreams,” Murphy said. “It was a gutsy performance. He hardly blew a candle out afterwards - he must have a tremendous amount of ability.”

Kameko will now go for the Epsom Derby and Murphy said they always expected him take that path.

“This guy has the mental attitude and I think going [to Epsom] would be absolutely fine,” he said. “But 12 furlongs is another half a mile further than the Classic he just won today.”

Godolphin did enjoy some success earlier in the day when Dettori - teaming up with the Dubai Racing operation for their first combined success in eight years - guided John Gosden’s Terebellum to the Group 3 Dahlia Fillies' Stakes.

On Friday, Dettori was denied victory in the royal blue silks when Mark Johnston’s Marie’s Diamond got the better of Gosden’s Lord Tennyson in the Listed Paradise Stakes.

But there was no stopping the veteran Italian rider this time around. Terebellum travelled smoothly to come home comfortably ahead of Sir Michael Stoute’s Queen Power. Another Godolphin horse, Magic Lily, claimed third.

On Sunday, Godolphin will be double handed in the Group 1 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, with Saeed Bin Suroor’s Final Song and Appleby saddling Summer Romance.

Final Song, under Pat Cosgrave, returns to action after spending the winter in Dubai. She made a winning debut at Meydan in the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial over seven furlongs, before finishing third in the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas behind stable companion Dubai Love over the extended mile trip, both on dirt.

“Final Song looks better physically since coming back from Dubai,” Bin Suroor said. “She has worked very nicely but it will be important to keep her nice and relaxed in the race, to give her every chance of finishing well over a mile.

“Final Song stayed the trip last time out in Saudi Arabia, so I am hopeful that she can do so again, and she goes into this race in very good form.”

Summer Romance, under Buick, announced herself as a major contender for this year’s Classics when powering to a comprehensive victory in the Listed Empress Stakes over six furlongs of Newmarket’s July Course in June.

She made two subsequent Group 3 starts over the same trip, most recently coming home third in the Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury in September.

“Summer Romance was an impressive winner of the Empress Stakes but then disappointed on her next two starts,” Appleby said.

“It was soft ground when she ran at Ascot, and she also got upset in the preliminaries, while she looked weak at Salisbury, so we decided to put her away for the season.

“She has a bit to find with some of her rivals but has done well over the winter and I have been pleased with her work.”

Updated: June 6, 2020 09:28 PM

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