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Pinatubo bigger and stronger than last year as Guineas date looms

Pinatubo winning the Vincent O'Brien Nation Stakes

Trainer Charlie Appleby says red-hot Qipco 2,000 Guineas favourite Pinatubo is bigger and stronger than last year, with the unbeaten colt well on track for his Classic date with destiny.

The two-time Group 1 winner, who last season earned a higher rating than Frankel had achieved at that stage of his career, is a top-priced 6-5 favourite for the Newmarket assignment with Sky Bet.

Appleby told the Racing Post that the Godolphin star has pleased his team in the build-up to the June 6 contest, although no serious questions will be asked of the runaway Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes hero until the 2,000 Guineas.

He said: “At this time of the year, the question everybody is asking is ‘has he trained on?’ We’re not going to have conclusive proof until the Guineas, but my gut feeling is that he has. No buttons will be pressed until the big day but from what we’re seeing at home, he’s gone the right way.

“He has grown and strengthend over winter”

“Mentally, I see no change in him. His demeanour is the same from two to three. He remains totally relaxed. Physically, though, I do see change. He has grown and strengthened over winter.”

Appleby added: “You can also tell he is an experienced racehorse now. He goes about his business professionally, and nothing fazes him.”

William Buick was on board Pinatubo for his sensational nine-length National Stakes romp and Dewhurst win, and reports the three-year-old in fine shape at home.

“On Saturday, William Buick came to sit on Pinatubo for the first time since the Dewhurst last October, and he was very pleased with him,” the trainer added.

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