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Pinatubo Champions Chesham

Pinatubo Champions Chesham

ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND – Godolphin’s Pinatubo took command in the late running and drew off sharply to become the champion of Saturday’s Chesham Stakes on Day 5 of the Royal Ascot meet.

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Breaking from the barriers at 5/2 stateside odds under James Doyle, Pinatubo settled comfortably while Dramatic Sands and Harpocrates set the initial pace. The pace became more frantic with 3 furlongs remaining, and that’s when Doyle went searching for a hole.

Upon finding running room with 2 furlongs to go, Pinatubo shot through and began chasing down new leader Highland Chief. Sliding past that foe quickly, Pinatubo nearly made contact with a lugging-out Lope Y Fernandez, but he avoided any scrapes and kicked away to win the 7-furlong sprint by a commanding 3 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:25.73, breaking the course record for a 2-year-old runner.

“He shows up nicely in his work without setting the world alight, but he is just getting better and better,” Doyle said. “I had to hold onto him and save his energy. Then once we got a bit of room, he quickened up very well late on and put it to bed nicely.”

While no match for the top pair, Highland Chief kept on for third. The rest of the field crossed thusly: Sun Power, Harpocrates, Heaven ForfendYear Of The TigerRose Of KildareUnited Front, Clay RegazzoniZmileMontanariArdenlee Star, and an emptied Dramatic Sands.

Dark KrisJoker On Jack, and Mohican Heights were non-runners.

Pinatubo’s victory was his third in as many career starts, with the son of Shamardal breaking his maiden at Wolverhampton on May 10 before winning the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom on May 31.

“He was very impressive,” Appleby said. “He was 2-from-2 coming here and he surprised us when he won first time out at Wolverhampton, to be honest, but he learnt plenty that day. Today was one of those nice races to watch. I was quite confident throughout the race that we were going to be there at the business end. The team at home do a fantastic job with these horses and that is why they are here this week in the condition they are in.”

Pinatubo returned $7.80 to win and $2.60 to place, Lope Y Vega brought back $2.40 to place, Highland Chief and paid $7.40 to place.

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