Pinatubo prospects of Guineas glory strengthen as Palace Pier removed from path

Last year’s champion juvenile Pinatubo is odds-on for the 2000 Guineas after connections of Palace Pier revealed he would skip the Classic.

Trained by John Gosden for Dubai’s crown prince Hamdan Al Maktoum, the dual Sandown winner misses a clash with Godolphin’s star colt.

Newmarket handler Gosden put the message out there through office racing manager Peter Shoemark.

“Due to the fact that there was no racing in April or May, Mr Gosden did not want Palace Pier to run in the 2,000 Guineas without a prep race,” he said. “He will most probably start at Newcastle in a three-year-old race.”

Following this announcement, bookmakers slashed the price on a Pinatubo 2000 Guineas win. The first Classic of the shortened British Flat season is on 6 June at its traditional home of Newmarket.

Analysis: Pintaubo best horse in 2000 Guineas but no value now

Jamie Clark, Editor

Don’t go piling into Pinatubo at odds-on. He may be the best horse on paper for the 2000 Guineas, but greater value lies elsewhere.

The defection of Palace Pier from the first Classic over the Rowley Mile forces punters to look at things differently. Each-way and place betting markets now look the only way to play ante post.

As mentioned when Aidan O’Brien revealed his 2000 Guineas plans, the Irish don’t appear to have anything to stop Pinatubo.

Arizona is also getting a poor price for each-way purposes, so chancing a British runner has its merits. The Vertem Futurity has in recent years been a good 2000 Guineas trial.

Kameko won that, albeit on the all-weather at Newcastle, last autumn. He remains a bit of each-way value at 14/1 with some bookies.

With an unexposed rival like Palace Pier out of the running, it’s no wonder that Pinatubo shortened. Godolphin only owned two of the last 20 winners of the 2000 Guineas, so big things are expected of him.

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