SHEIKH Mohammed’s deep desire to succeed means crack juvenile Pinatubo should line-up for the 2000 Guineas if and when the colt’s Classic eventually takes place. But at what cost?
Unbeaten Pinatubo was recognised in 2019 as the best two-year-old for 25 years with a BHA handicap mark of 128 – the highest since Celtic Swing was awarded a rating of 130.
The current coronavirus pandemic, which has caused the shutdown of British racing, could arguably have a huge effect on the Godolphin owned colt.
No-one knows when the 2000 Guineas – for which Pinatubo was the sizzling ante-post favourite after his Group 1 Dewhurst romp at the backend of last season – will finally be run. It was due to take place in early May.
That might be considered more of an issue for Pinatubo than some other later-maturing colts.
The BHA’s lead two-year-old handicapper, Graeme Smith, has already admitted: “In terms of weight for age, to be the same horse in the Guineas as Pinatubo was in the Dewhurst he has to mature by 10lb, and you’ve got to ask yourself whether you can really see that happening?”
Luckily, for Pinatubo fans, the Charlie Appleby-trained son of Shamardal is owned by Sheikh Mohammed, rather than by you or me!
Putting numbers on the value of Pinatubo is the kind of game that everyone playing might have a different opinion.
But in general terms, one could estimate Pinatubo was worth in the region of £20m at the end of his two-year-old campaign. He if retired now and never raced again, it’s possible he would stand at stud for something like £40,000 per mare. With the chances being connections would ask him to have fun with 150 partners a year!
Now, if Pinatubo landed the 2000 Guineas and, should it happen, the St James’s Palace Stakes, the value of Pinatubo would not change drastically, although he might be insured for in the region of £25m-£30m and stand for £50,000.
An unbeaten three-year-old career in the mould of Frankel might mean Pinatubo becomes worth between £40m to £50m.
All those figures are calculated guesses.
The key point, however, is this. A small owner who hit it big with Pinatubo might be terrified to run their horse with a delayed Flat campaign.
After all, Pinatubo is relatively exposed after six races which included starting off at Wolverhampton just under a year ago. They might quite rightly feel there was more to lose than gain.
Sheikh Mohammed, though, will not think like that. He will want Pinatubo to conquer the UK.
Despite some shocking press in recent times, involving the treatment of two of his daughters, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates is absolutely propelled by success and has given no sign his enthusiasm for British racing has been dented.
Showing the world Pinatubo was not only the best two-year-old many have seen but also the bets three-year-old will be foremost in his thoughts. To be quite frank the value of Pinatubo will be irrelevant.
Thinking about the Guineas and other big races that may be ahead of us is just one way a racing fan can keep sane. I have no doubt many of you reading this are experiencing tough times, and some of you will have lost loved ones or friends.
The simple truth is that we have to keep going. That is what we are designed to do as human beings, for all that it will be easier for some than others.
For those of us on TV who love their work, and have the chance to still explore one or two avenues, we are doing our best to entertain you, and we can only do that with the help of people in racing.
Tonight I will be on Sky Sports Racing bringing you the best of US racing from Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I can tell you on a personal level it brings some normality. At the end of the day, my first break on TV was covering Stateside on the now defunct Racing Channel.
During the show I will chat to some entertaining characters – I have already interviewed the likes of Bob Baffert and Kim Bailey – while on the Attheraces Instagram feed I have had lengthy chats with Oisin Murphy and Nico de Boinville.
My Good, Bad and Ugly Column will be changed each Monday and we’ll hopefully keep it more light-hearted with some thoughts on the summer ahead.
I can’t thank everyone enough for all their time and enthusiasm. The show goes on…be safe everyone and a thank you to the NHS.
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