Pinatubo has surpassed the mighty Frankel to become the highest-rated juvenile in 25 years following his sensational performance in the National Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend.
Charlie Appleby's prodigious two-year-old blew away a classy field at the Curragh earlier this month to coast home by nine lengths from Aidan O'Brien's Group Two winners Armory and Arizona, a scintillating display which earns him a rating of 128 with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).
That puts Pinatubo – owned by Godolphin – on a higher mark than Henry Cecil's legendary Frankel (126) achieved as a juvenile while it may rise again depending on the Shamardal colt's showing in Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket next month.
The BHA's two-year-old handicapper Graeme Smith described Pinatubo – unbeaten in his five career starts – as "the most exciting two-year-old we've seen in a long, long time".
Smith said: "You've got to be very impressed with what he has done so far. We're not saying he’s a better horse than Frankel, but so far he has achieved more as a two-year-old than Frankel did.
"Frankel went on to achieve a rating of 136 as a three-year-old, and 140 as a four-year-old in 2012, so Pinatubo has still got a lot of improving to do to become the horse Frankel was."
The last two-year-old to be rated higher than Pinatubo was Celtic Swing (Lady Herries), with a mark of 130 in 1994 while honourable mentions go to New Approach (Jim Bolger) – rated 126 following an unbeaten juvenile year in 2007 – and Xaar (Andre Fabre), which was 1lb higher on 127 a decade earlier.
Smith added: "In my opinion, Pinatubo has achieved more than Xaar but not quite as much as Celtic Swing, although 128 is his current rating and not his end-of-season rating.
"The more you look through his form, the better it looks, and it’s backed up by very good times. The clock doesn't usually lie – but it’s nice to see him winning in good times by five lengths and nine lengths, as he has on his last couple of starts.
"On the clock alone, you could rate him in the mid-130s. We’ll see what turns up to take him on in the Dewhurst. It could be that those who might be able to give him a proper examination might duck him to try to win a Group One elsewhere, but we’ll see."