Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 19 October 2019

Pinatubo explodes to claim Curragh prize for Appleby

Chris Hayes celebrates his Irish St Leger success on Search For A Song. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Chris Hayes celebrates his Irish St Leger success on Search For A Song. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Marcus Armytage

On a weekend of Arc trials and Classics, it was a two-year-old that stole the show when Pinatubo - unbeaten in four starts before yesterday - claimed the Group One Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at The Curragh by a staggering nine lengths.

Having missed 10 weeks of the season with concussion, William Buick was sitting on Godolphin's homebred colt for the first time, but he was not disappointed, as the son of Shamardal (named after a volcano) went further and further clear of Aidan O'Brien's best two-year-old, Armory.

Pinatubo has a mind to match his physical ability. "He is so hard to work out," said trainer Charlie Appleby. "He cannot raise a gallop at home. I worked him midweek with some better horses just to give myself some confidence but if you had asked which worked best I would have said Royal Crusader, who got beat on Saturday."

Buick, beaming from ear to ear, confirmed he had never ridden a two-year-old like Pinatubo. "That was special. We saw what he could do at Goodwood but this was a proper Group One and it felt as good as it looked."

Pinatubo is already evens favourite for next year's 2,000 Guineas, but is expected to finish his season in the Dewhurst at Newmarket next month.

Search For A Song (10/1) gave Dermot Weld an eighth success in the Comer Group Irish St Leger. Having only the fifth start of her career, and the only three-year-old in the race, the daughter of Galileo landed the spoils under an enterprising ride by Chris Hayes, who decided the pace being set by Master Of Reality and Latrobe wasn't strong enough so he moved the Moyglare Stud-owned filly to the front seven furlongs out.

Search For A Song soon built up a handy lead and was not for stopping and she galloped past the line over two lengths clear of Kew Gardens.

The latter made late gains without threatening the winner, which is the first three-year-old filly to lift this since Petite Ile in 1989. Southern France was a further length and a half away third.

"It's a very special win on a very special and emotional day," said Weld. "We're having wonderful horse racing, but I'm very proud of our industry the way we are supporting Pat Smullen and cancer research. This has been a very special race for me over the years."

Weld and Hayes were also on the mark with Tarnawa (3/1) which gave the trainer a fourth successive Moyglare 'Jewels' Blandford Stakes with a clear-cut win in the Group Two.

Hayes had her well-placed behind the pace-setting Lady Wannabe and Credenza before the Aga Khan filly showed a neat turn of foot that took her to the front and she ran on strongly to beat Goddess with Credenza third.

Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore also notched a brace, which was initiated by the success of Love in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. One of four contenders for O'Brien in the seven-furlong contest, the Galileo filly was never far from the pace set by stablemate Tango and the Ger Lyons-trained Soul Search.

The previously unbeaten Albigna had Love (6/1) for company on her outside and was beaten by the time the field got to the furlong pole, where Love kept on strongly to hold the late charge of Roger Varian's 13/8 favourite Daahyeh by three-quarters of a length.

Fairyland led home a one-two from the O'Brien stable in the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes.

The three-year-old filly ended a losing spell going back to last year's Cheveley Park Stakes to notch her second Group One prize as she held the late challenge of So Perfect.

The winning post arrived just in time for Fairyland, which prevailed by a short head. Invincible Army was third.

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