Hollywoodbets Neil Morrice believes that if there’s a chink in the armour of last season’s superb and unbeaten champion colt PINATUBO then KAMEKO could be the one to exploit it and take out the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, the first Classic of the UK season today.
The Qatar Racing-owned colt hardly put a foot wrong himself in 2019, and though twice having his colours lowered signed off with a most convincing display in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle which he won by three and a half lengths from Innisfree.
He’s done particularly well physically through the winter, and with his trainer’s horses already cutting the mustard looks certain to give a good account
But Charlie Appleby has full faith in Pinatubo’s ability to stay a mile as he faces his date with Classic destiny in today’s Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.takes, Pinatubo was awarded the highest juvenile rating since Celtic Swing in 1994, with his mark of 128 putting him 2lb ahead of the mighty Frankel at that stage of his career.
While Pinatubo has proven his capabilities up to seven furlongs, he tackles a mile for the first time at Headquarters – but Appleby is drawing plenty of encouragement from the Shamardal colt’s pedigree.
He said: “We’re looking forward to it, he had a routine canter on Friday morning and looks great.
“His draw (seven of 12) suits us, it gives William (Buick, jockey) options and we know he’s a straightforward horse. William can put him where he likes, he can see where the pace is and will hopefully be able to ride the race that suits him and the horse.
“I don’t see the mile as a problem at all. On the dam’s side, he’s very stoutly bred there. As an individual he’s very laid back, nothing fazes him.
“I felt the most impressive part of his race (in the Dewhurst) was when he hit the rising ground and the way he galloped out.
“We saw the first signs of his acceleration (when winning the Woodcote Stakes) at Epsom, so that gave us the confidence to go to Ascot (for the Chesham Stakes) and we were always hoping that a step up in trip would also see a fair bit of improvement.
“We’ve been delighted with his preparation going into Guineas weekend. We took him to Chelmsford the other day and William went round on him with a couple of lead horses. He sat on him the week before and it was all very pleasing.
“He’s not a horse that will light you up too much in the mornings, but this year he’s shown his professionalism. He goes about his business and he does what’s asked of him. In doing so, he has met every challenge we have set him so far in his preparation.”
The Guineas is being run a month later than originally scheduled due to the coronavirus shutdown, but Appleby is unperturbed by the delay or the lack of a prep run.