Pinatubo: it won’t be long now until we get another glimpse of the unbeaten juvenile, who is a hot favourite for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Betway have described this year’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas hot favourite Pinatubo as the best-backed horse in the race since Frankel, although there are mixed feelings with punters and bookmakers about the Godolphin star’s chances.
In all, 65 per cent of bets on the Betfair Exchange market have been on Pinatubo. A Guineas win could be close to the size of the liabilities of Frankel’s historymaking victory in 2011, but is not expected to be quite as big.
However, there is some uncertainty about Charlie Appleby’s star in the betting market. In recent weeks he has drifted to 11-8 on the exchange while Coral report the betting to be “pretty stagnant”.
Pinatubo is a top-priced 6-5 chance but can be backed at evens with William Hill, Coral, Betfair Sportsbook and BetVictor.
While the market, in general, is not as busy during the coronavirus pandemic, Betway have seen steady support for Pinatubo throughout the winter.
Chad Yeomans, spokesman for Betway, said: “He’s been the best-backed horse in the race since Frankel. There was plenty of support for Air Force Blue  in the four weeks leading up to the race, but overall, Pinatubo has been the strongest supported by the Betway punters since Frankel.”
Pinatubo’s price has not adjusted at all with Coral. The general uncertainty in the past few weeks has led to little interest in any of the Guineas hopefuls according to spokesman Simon Clare.
He said: “The 2,000 Guineas market has been frozen in time, with only small bits of money for a few horses in recent weeks.
“The lack of certainty over when, and if, the Guineas would take place and the lack of media coverage on the preparations of Pinatubo other leading contenders has unsurprisingly led to a pretty stagnant market.
“Pinatubo was even money when lockdown started and he’s still even money now. As we get closer to the new Guineas day, we’ll take an open mind to trading the race, and react to money and information in the public domain, as we’re clearly operating in uncharted waters.”
‘He’s slightly uneasy now at 11-8’
Uncertainty has also been noted by Betfair on their Sportsbook and Exchange market.
Spokesman Barry Orr said: “There has been even more than the usual amount of uncertainty around this year’s ante-post Classic betting markets. Pinatubo has been tottering between 11-10 and 6-5 since his Dewhurst win last October.
“In April though, with doubt about the participation of overseas runners in this year’s renewal, we shortened him into 4-5. A move that was reflective of the time but he has subsequently drifted back out to even money.”
Orr added: “On the exchange he had never gone below evens, with the lion’s share of the money traded in the market – 65 per cent –going on him.
“He’s however slightly uneasy now at 11-8 and it looks like, despite the positive bulletin from connections, that punters are willing to take him on. We have seen support for Arizona in recent weeks and punters seem to consider him as a very attractive alternative to the favourite at around the 9-1 mark.”
William Hill’s spokesman Rupert Adams expects the price on Pinatubo to be snapped up as the Guineas draws nearer.
“Pinatubo is currently evens with us, and I would snap that up as the price is only going to shorten as we see French and Irish runners deciding not to go,” said Adams.
William Hill also noted two movers in the betting for the Investec Derby in the last week with Military March into 9-1, from 14-1, and Al Aasy backed into 25-1 from 66-1.
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