William Muir leads tributes as secure star Pyledriver is retired

Pyledriver, winner of final yr’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Coronation Cup in 2021, has been retired after the recurrence of a suspensory ligament harm to his off-fore, coach William Muir introduced on Tuesday.

The six-year-old was on track to characteristic in Saturday’s Group 3 September Stakes at Kempton earlier than a possible crack on the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe subsequent month.

After a “fairly sensible” exercise on the gallops on Friday, Muir, who trains in partnership with Chris Grassick, began to have considerations when Pyledriver returned to the yard.

Muir instructed the Racing Submit on Tuesday morning: “He labored excellent on Friday and cantered on Monday, however when he got here again on Friday he was a little bit bit sore in the identical place the place he received that setback within the suspensory ligament earlier than.

“He was advantageous within the night, and the following day, then my vet was in on Monday and we couldn’t consider it. I feel there’s one thing which is niggling and it’s vital we don’t do something as a result of we’ve got to play the sport correctly.

“He’s not lame and he cantered on Monday, however we had a gathering and all made the choice. This horse has been so good to us and I don’t wish to put him by means of one thing that would go improper.”

Owned by La Pyle Partnership, the son of Harbour Watch received eight of his 20 begins, 5 of which have been at Group degree, and he earned greater than £2 million prize-money. His ultimate racecourse look got here when ending fifth to Hukum on this yr’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July.

Pyledriver’s eighth and ultimate success got here at this yr’s Royal Ascot as he returned from a 336-day layoff to land the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes.

Muir stated: “We did all the things we might and after we went again to Royal Ascot, we didn’t have a run for ages as a result of we’d been minding him all the way in which as much as that day.

“To go and do what he did was unbelievable. It doesn’t matter how lengthy I practice for, I don’t assume I’ll ever see a horse do what he did contemplating the brief quantity of labor he had earlier than it.”

Pyledriver was 25-1 with most corporations for the Arc at Longchamp on October 1, with the September Stakes anticipated to be his ultimate run earlier than contesting Europe’s richest Flat race.

Muir added: “On the gallops on Friday he was in tip-top kind. He was contemporary, he was properly and he was completely bouncing – you couldn’t see something higher.

“If he was 100 per cent sound and was bucking and kicking, then we’d go to Kempton on Saturday and I’d’ve stated that it’d take an excellent horse to beat him.

“Nevertheless, if he went there and received an harm and tore the ligament or put extra stress on the opposite leg and broke it, then I’d stroll away from all the things. I wouldn’t have the ability to put up with it, so I feel that is the precise determination. He’s been such a incredible horse for us all, however we’ve got to do what is correct for him.

“We’re on this sport as a result of we love these horses and I don’t wish to see horses injured.”

Pyledriver has supplied his connections with recollections for all times and Muir believes it’s not simply these near him who will miss seeing him race.

He stated: “I feel he’s liked by lots of people across the nation, whether or not that’s punters and different individuals in racing.

“The homeowners have been incredible from day one at Salisbury and I couldn’t communicate extra extremely of them or my workers. The boys that take care of him will likely be devastated as a result of he’s an enormous a part of our yard.

“He must exit on the proper time and that is the precise time. It could be such a disgrace if he have been to exit after one thing had gone utterly improper or, worse nonetheless, lack of life.

“I might maintain working him as a result of he’s in incredible kind, however my instincts are telling me that is the time to retire him. I’ll at all times do what’s proper for each horse, however Pyledriver has been so particular all through our profession.

“We’ve now received to search out one other one and I’ve received to search out him a stallion’s job – it’s onwards and upwards.”

Courtesy of Racing Submit

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