Shamardal’s exceptional son Pinatubo was officially recognised as the best juvenile in Europe for 25 years following the publication of the 2019 European two-year-old classifications on Wednesday, 22 January. Unbeaten in six starts, the Charlie Appleby-trained colt achieved the highest mark allocated to a juvenile since Celtic Swing in 1994.
A Godolphin homebred, Pinatubo swept to victory twice at G1 level with a sensational win in the Dewhurst at Newmarket following a devastating nine-length victory in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh where he was awarded a 128 rating.
The British Horseracing Authority's lead two-year-old Handicapper Graeme Smith said: "Pinatubo looked a potentially outstanding two-year-old when thrashing a competitive field in the Vintage Stakes and his next performance in the National Stakes was breathtaking – the kind you rarely see in top company – as he powered nine lengths clear of Armory and Arizona in a top-class time.
"This was one of the great two-year-old performances, and the best by any two-year-old in the last 25 years."
2019 was a remarkable year for Shamardal who sired a further two unbeaten G1 winning two-year-olds. Following wins in both the G1 Prix Morny and G1 Middle Park, the André Fabre-trained Earthlight ended the season as Europe’s joint-second highest rated juvenile of 2019 with a rating of 118. His stablemate Victor Ludorum, who earned a mark of 114, was also one of the most exciting colts in France following his win in the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on only his second start.
Darley stallions dominated the two-year-old rankings with Slade Power’s daughter Raffle Prize scooping joint-second highest-rated juvenile filly. This followed a fantastic campaign which saw the Mark Johnston charge take two G2 wins, including the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and Duchess of Cambridge at Newmarket, prior to finishing runner-up in the G1 Prix Morny and G1 Cheveley Park Stakes.
Further highly rated individuals include the Hugo Palmer-trained Powerful Breeze, a two-year-old daughter of Iffraaj, who achieved a mark of 113 following victory in the G2 May Hill Stakes and a second in the G1 Fillies’ Mile. She is joined on that mark by New Approach’s homebred son Military March, who narrowly denied Dubawi’s Al Suhail (112) in G3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket.