Pyledriver '100 per cent sound' and on course for Juddmonte at York
William Muir says his Coronation Cup winner and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hopeful Pyledriver is "100 per cent sound" and ready for his next challenge in York's Juddmonte International on August 18 after a late injury ruled him out of Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes.
The timing could not have been worse for Muir as a minor setback cost Pyledriver his place in Ascot's midsummer showpiece five days before the race, for which he had been a general 5-1 chance.
The four-year-old, owned by the La Pyle Partnership, has since been checked over by vets and given the all-clear to resume training, with a trip to the Knavesmire and a possible clash with the likes of Ballydoyle's St Mark's Basilica – winner of four Group 1s on the bounce – and King George runner-up Mishriff the target.
Providing an update on his stable star's fitness, Muir said: "We gave him a quiet week last week and he was seen by the vets. He's now back going and he's 100 per cent sound. He's absolutely bouncing no different to the way he was on the Saturday morning before the incident happened. He should be all systems go for the Juddmonte International."
Having taken in what was a high-quality running of the King George on Saturday when Adayar produced a colossal performance to become the first Derby winner to follow up at Ascot since Galileo, Muir remained bullish about how he believes Pyledriver would have performed in opposition.
"He'd have been right there" he said. "I'm not saying we'd have won because it was a high-quality race, but he'd have been right in amongst that.
"We'll carry on now with a normal, steady routine this week and plan forward from then. We might have one precautionary check again next Monday but there is nothing wrong with him."
Muir is keeping the September Stakes at Kempton on September 4 in mind as a back-up as he steps up Pyledriver's preparation for his long-term target of the Arc in October.
"He only missed four days so it's not like his fitness has gone down." Muir said. "The only reason we wouldn't go to York is if I feel we're pushing him too hard, in which case we'd probably use the September Stakes as a prep race for the Arc."
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