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King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes: William Muir dreaming of extra glory with Pyledriver | Racing Information


The fairytale story of Pyledriver doesn’t appear to be ending anytime quickly because the star six-year-old bids for a shocking King George repeat at Ascot on Saturday, reside on Sky Sports activities Racing.

William Muir and Chris Grassick’s secure sensation was a promising if not spectacular juvenile earlier than his profession took off as a three-year-old, profitable at Royal Ascot in addition to the Ebor assembly earlier than third within the St Leger at Doncaster.

Group One victory within the Coronation Cup adopted at Epsom earlier than a globetrotting voyage that together with a profitable second at Sha Tin within the Hong Kong Vase, a visit that co-trainer William Muir – alongside Chris Grassick – remembers fondly regardless of not returning with successful.

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Sky Sports activities Racing caught up with coach William Muir and former jockey Martin Dwyer as Pyledriver prepares for the defence of his King George crown at Ascot on Saturday

“Sure, it was Covid and we have been locked in a room for 22 hours a day however we acquired to the quarantine barn and we acquired over for the one race and despatched again,” he informed Sky Sports activities Racing.

“It was a titanic efficiency – the Japanese horse was superb and he got here down the center of the monitor. The horse did not see him coming however he nonetheless ran a mammoth race.

“Then to go to Dubai within the Sheema Basic. Frankie (Dettori) got here again and he acquired caught in a pocket, it is no one’s fault.

“He mentioned it price me two lengths and we have been crushed three-quarters (of a size), we must always’ve gained. He simply mentioned we could not get out and it price us the race.

“It has been unbelievable. To journey around the globe, to Hong Kong and Dubai and to have the ability to compete at that top stage.”

Pyledriver and PJ McDonald win the Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot

Pyledriver and PJ McDonald win the Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot

Since then, he is returned to his beloved Ascot with an unimaginable victory in final yr’s King George, taking the scalps of this yr’s reopposing rivals Westover and Emily Upjohn in addition to the defending Arc hero Torquator Tasso.

The story is extra exceptional given house owners La Pyle Partnership paid the relatively-miniscule sum of £10,000 for Pyledriver, having did not tempt any patrons on the gross sales.

Since then, the six-year-old has collected near £2m in prize cash with two Group One victories, and eight in complete.

“That is what you do the sport for,” Muir added. “To get a horse like this, to show that small trainers in the event that they get the fabric, they will practice the large winners.

“It is all about vogue and we all know that however we’re fortunate sufficient that the house owners are nice and put him with me and it was if we may win a bit race.

“He is gained two Group Ones, positioned in Group Twos, gained Group Twos, been all around the globe and also you solely dream of getting horses like this.

“We do not go to the gross sales with a lot of cash however we’ve got purchased a fair proportion of superb ones over my time coaching.

“Any coach would miss him. They’re very tough to interchange and if anybody had this horse, he’d be a large loss to their yard.

“He is a really particular horse. I’ve mentioned it earlier than, he may go to Aidan O’Brien, John Gosden or William Haggas and he’d be one of many highest-class horses of their yards.”

‘He’d be often known as a greater horse of all-time’

As for Saturday’s large race? It would not get a lot simpler with this yr’s Derby one-two in Auguste Rodin and King Of Metal, the final two Coronation Cup winners in Emily Upjohn and Hukum in addition to 2022 Irish Derby winner Westover.

It’s going to little doubt be a stiff check at Ascot this weekend however coach Muir may hardly be extra assured, and thinks success would safe Pyledriver’s spot as one of many biggest in latest historical past.

“He is in nice order. He is in distinctive order. We have not needed to do something, it is simply been a pure development from Royal Ascot to right here.

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Kevin Stott, jockey of King Of Metal, admits he cannot look forward to the problem of using in Saturday’s King George, reside on Sky Sports activities Racing

“We have not needed to do something exhausting to anxious, he is simply improved for the room such as you’d hope – I feel he is in fine condition.

“What number of horses have gained back-to-back King George’s or two King George’s? He must be often known as one of many higher horses of all-time.”

Watch the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes from Ascot on Sky Sports activities Racing on Saturday July 29.


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