Six from six for unbeaten Pinatubo with victory in Newmarket’s Dewhurst Stakes
Charlie Appleby's Pinatubo further enhanced his growing reputation with a useful victory in the Dewhurst Stakes on second and final day of the Future Champions Festival at Newmarket.
The Godolphin colt went into the race as clear favourite and did not disappoint by making it six wins from six starts.
It was also a successful afternoon for trainer Ralph Beckett and jockey Harry Bentley as they bookended the meeting with victories from four of the seven races on the card.
The Group One Dewhurst Stakes was run in overcast, drizzly conditions and saw Aidan O’Brien’s Arizona make the running on the inside, looking to make amends for ending up nine-and-a-quarter lengths behind Pinatubo in third at The Curragh last month.
However William Buick manoeuvred Pinatubo skilfully through the field in the nine-horse race and took to the front into the final furlong, a position from which proved uncatchable. Arizona came in second two lengths back, with Wichita, supplemented for the race by O’Brien, a further four-and-three-quarter lengths back in third. O’Brien also saddled the fourth and fifth finishers with Year Of The Tiger and Monarch Of Egypt respectively.
Speaking afterwards, Appleby said, “We’re all behind this horse and thankfully he’s kept the dream alive for the winter and we can have something to talk about.
“The ground was testing out there and it’s testament to the horse.”
In the Cesarewitch Stakes, Stratum made up for finishing a distant 20th in last year’s race by coming out on top for Willie Mullins.
With Jason Watson at the reins, the winner was engaged in a three-way tussle with outsiders Party Playboy and Summer Moon entering the final furlong. However the six-year-old edged clear to win by half-a-length as Watson added another notable win to his first UK Group One success in the Fillies’ Mile on Friday.
Party Playboy and Summer Moon held on to claim second and third respectively from the 30 strong starting field. Andrew Balding’s Ranch Hand went into the race as favourite but finished a disappointing 15th.
Despite not featuring in the shake-up for the Dewhurst and Cesarewitch, the Beckett and Bentley combination dominated proceedings across the remainder of the card for four victories at the start and end of the meeting.
The first came as Tomfre upset the odds with success in the opener, the Dubai Nursery Handicap, with a half a length success from Milltown Star in second and Visible Charm in third.
That was quickly followed by a commanding three-length victory for Max Vega in the Zetland Stakes. Miss Yoda trailed behind to take second from Berkshire Rocco in third by three-quarters of a length.
Trainer and jockey then had to wait until the penultimate race of the meeting, the Dubai British EBF Boadicea Stakes to make it a treble, which came courtesy of Richenza. That success was by a healthy margin of a length and three-quarters from Invitational in second, with race favourite Bravo Sierra the same distance back in third.
And the day was rounded off nicely for Beckett and Bentley in the closing race, the Group 3 Darley Stakes, as Feliciana De Vega came home a dominant three lengths clear of Indeed in second and Prince Eiji in third.