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Deauville Dominated by the Blues

13 July 2020

On paper the mid-summer card at Deauville on Sunday looked to be one of the seasons’ highlights - and it lived up to expectations! Dominated by the ‘Blue Army’ – the powerful Godolphin breeding and racing operation – they delivered three winners on the card with each sired by the late Darley stallion Shamardal who passed-away in April.

The highlight of the meeting was the Prix Jean Prat – the only Group One (G1) three-year-old race over 1400m. Pinatubo set out to record his first win of the season following two G1 placings over 1600m. Though starting a very short-priced favourite at 1.6 on the PMU, the race didn’t go all his own way. After the start he was mid-field and maintained that position until the 400m when he gradually made ground going to the lead at the 250m. Ridden along by jockey William Buick he drew clear to win by three-quarters of a length from Lope Y Fernandez with Malotru into third placing a further two and half lengths away.  

This was Pinatubo’s third 1400m success at G1 having previously won the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket and National Stakes at The Curragh.   

After the race, trainer Charlie Appleby said: ‘I’m delighted for Pinatubo and delighted for his highness Sheikh Mohammed, who has had a lot of faith in this horse and the team…we were always confident coming back to seven furlongs (1400m)…He can have a little rest now and then we'll decide where he goes next.’

The G1 Maurice de Gheest over 1300m at Deauville on 9 August would be a good choice for the three-year-old to be tested against the older horses.

By Shamardal from Listed winner Lava Flow (Dalakhani), Pinatubo is certainly bred to go further than 1400m. Tracing his pedigree, it is found that Mishriff – this years’ G1 Prix du Jockey Club winner – features.

Earlier in the day, Earthlight made his seasonal reappearance in the Prix Kisténa (1200m). Not seen since winning the G1 Middle Park Stakes (1200m) at Newmarket in September he is also the previous winner of the G1 Prix Morny (1200m) over this course. His delayed start to the season has been due to injury. The colt is trained by Andre Fabre who was pleased with the success: ‘It was a good performance. He travelled nicely and showed good speed…we have two options – we either go for the Prix Maurice de Gheest or we step up in distance’.

Completing three wins at Deauville for Godolphin and Shamardal was Royal Crusade, victor of the G3 Prix de Ris-Orangis (1200m). Like Pinatubo he is trained at Newmarket by Charlie Appleby. Starting favourite this was a solid win following his sixth in the G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

In other news, French trainers had a very good day in Hamburg Germany winning two feature races. Trainer Henri-Alex Pantall completed the big day for Godolphin and Shamardal when four-year-old filly Half Light progressed from her Listed 1400m victory at Le Lion-d’Angers in June by winning the G3 Sparkasse Holstein-Cup (1600m).

Francois-Henri Graffard landed another feature G1 winning the G1 Deutsches Derby (2400m) with In Swoop scoring by three-quarters of a length. Runner-up previously in the G2 Prix Gruffulhe (2200m) at Lyon this was only his third race start and gave German based stallion his first victory in the Classic. This was an impressive win and for a lightly raced colt, a tilt in both the G1 Grand Prix de Paris (2400m) in September and the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe would be under consideration. 

Picture: © APHR Pinatubo winning 2020 Prix Jean Prat