William Muir is assured final 12 months’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes winner Pyledriver is in the identical glowing kind as 12 months in the past as he bids to change into simply the second horse this century to win back-to-back runnings of Ascot’s prestigious Group 1.
The apple of Muir’s eye, Pyledriver returned from an extended absence to win the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot final month and, in accordance with his joint-trainer, is bodily stronger than ever.
With the Derby 1-2, Auguste Rodin and King Of Metal, able to symbolize the Traditional era on Saturday week, and Group 1 stars like Emily Upjohn, Westover and Hukum additionally heading in the right direction, this 12 months’s King George seems to have all of it however nothing can dampen Muir’s enthusiasm for his twin Group 1 winner.
“He appears to be like implausible and I couldn’t be happier with the place I’ve obtained him,” stated Muir, who trains Pyledriver in partnership with Chris Grassick. “He got here out of Royal Ascot brilliantly. I do know folks say he appeared match there however he wasn’t exhausting match and he’s achieved the whole lot we’ve requested of him since.”
Pyledriver had an away day at Kempton earlier than his victory within the Hardwicke and was put via his paces at Newbury on Wednesday as Muir ticks off the times till the King George.
He stated: “He had a bit of heat up canter then went again to the mile and a half begin and simply swung away. He was going a very good tempo after which took off in his rider’s palms from the furlong pole, which was implausible.”
Pyledriver, 18-1 when profitable within the race final 12 months, is a top-price 6-1 to repeat the feat of Allow, who gained the King George for a second in 2019 earlier than including a 3rd within the following season.
Twin Derby winner Auguste Rodin heads the market at a basic 3-1, with King Of Metal subsequent at 100-30 and Coronation Cup scorer Emily Upjohn third finest at 4-1.
Muir added: “He was in nice form going there final 12 months however he’s each bit pretty much as good this time. I believe he’s stronger this 12 months. Bodily he appears to be like higher and mentally he’s all the time been implausible. It appears to be like a robust area however my horse has appeared good each time he’s run and I’d be as assured as some other coach within the race.”
Owned by the La Pyle Partnership, Pyledriver returned from 336 days on the sidelines to win the Hardwicke having been given time to get well from a knee harm and Muir expects the advance from that run to be considerable. “His efficiency at Royal Ascot did shock me a bit and he’s undoubtedly come on from the race,” he stated. “I hope he’s come on 10lb and I’d be delighted if he has.”
Past Ascot, Muir would like to see Pyledriver get the prospect to sort out the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on the primary Sunday in October and, whereas stallion duties are one possibility come the tip of the season, Muir was not ruling out Pyledriver returning to the monitor as a seven-year-old subsequent 12 months.
He stated: “After Ascot we’d like yet one more run earlier than the Arc and we’ve obtained two choices; both the Juddmonte Worldwide at York or the September Stakes at Kempton.
“The homeowners are such nice sports activities that, if he had no extra troubles, then they could say, ‘Do you fancy going once more subsequent 12 months?’ It’s very versatile and I’ll all the time do what’s proper for the horse.”
Courtesy of Racing Submit