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William Muir dreaming of Classic glory with unfashionable Pyledriver in the St Leger »

Some of the finest Flat horses in Europe line up in some glittering prizes this weekend however there’s little doubt that the hottest winner will likely be Pyledriver if he can land the Pertemps St Leger at Doncaster.

The unfashionably-bred colt who no-one needed when he was provided on the market as a foal has already added a splash color to a disrupted season with spectacular wins in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.

The successes have been the greatest in the profession of jockey Martin Dwyer since he landed the 2006 Derby on Sir Percy and led to owner-breeders Roger Devlin and brothers Guy and Huw Leach receiving and turning down ‘life-changing affords’.

Pyledriver has already added a splash color to a disrupted season with spectacular wins

The solely disappointment got here in the Derby when Pyledriver’s race was over just about as quickly because it had begun when he ended up in an unattainable place at the again of the subject.

The blip by no means dented the religion and confidence of coach Willie Muir, who will as soon as once more be at the wheel of his horsebox when he drives Pyledriver from his 26-horse secure in Lambourn to tackle some of the greatest operations in Britain and Ireland in the world’s oldest Classic race.

Muir additionally believes Pyledriver, whose sire Harbour Watch was a sprinter who solely raced 3 times as a two-year-old and dam La Pyle a hurdler crushed over 70 lengths on her ultimate race at Fontwell, will keep the St Leger’s one mile, six and a half furlong distance

Muir mentioned: ‘I’m wanting ahead to it. We are going into uncharted waters with the distance however individuals raised precisely the similar doubts once we went from a mile and 1 / 4 to a mile and a half. I’m very relaxed about it.

Pyledriver shares favouritism at 11-4 with Irish Derby winner Santiago on Saturday

‘I assumed we had an incredible likelihood in the Derby, and all of it went improper. We have been the meat in the sandwich and obtained knocked out of the race. You should stand up and shake your self down.

‘If it hadn’t occurred, we’d have positioned when you watch him from a furlong and a half out. Some individuals thought I used to be being too bullish however his win in the Voltigeur proved it. The Derby was a disappointment but it surely was not a blip.

‘We’re not a modern yard however If we occur to win a Classic what an achievement for a small yard.’

Pyledriver shares favouritism at 11-4 with Irish Derby winner Santiago, one of the Aidan O’Brien three entries and the mount of Frankie Dettori.

Santiago subsequently completed third to Stradivarius in the two-mile Goodwood Cup however the race did go to plan with O’Brien reckoning the son of Galileo did a bit an excessive amount of too quickly when racing ‘a gear too excessive all the approach’.

The approach Hukum lit the line when profitable one mile 5 and a half furlong Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury makes it onerous to imagine he will not keep and the Owen Burrows-trained stylish Royal Ascot winner appears to be like a giant hazard to all.

Best outsider could possibly be David Simcock’s 22-1 shot Mohican Heights. The Derby didn’t work out for Jamie Spencer’s mount however he was beforehand an attention grabbing third to Pyledriver at Royal Ascot.

Leopardstown’s Irish Champion Stakes, signature race of Irish Champions weekend, options the world’s highest rated horse in Charlie Appleby’s Ghaiyyath, winner of the Coronation Cup, Eclipse and International Stakes plus 2019 French Derby winner Sottsass.

O’Brien runs three led by final yr’s winner Magical, the International Stakes runner-up, however Ryan Moore chooses to experience Japan, who races for the first time since ending final of three to Enable in the King George.

Japan was subsequently lame with sore soles in each entrance ft.

Meanwhile, Tom Marquand rides Joseph O’Brien-trained St Leger hope Galileo Chrome after meant jockey Shane Cross was prevented from travelling from Ireland after a constructive Covid-19 take a look at.

Crosse was examined below the protocols required for journey to Doncaster and Dr Jennifer Pugh, IHRB Senior Medical Officer, mentioned: ‘Shane was fully asymptomatic and was very shocked to be taught of the take a look at consequence. He was not unwell and hadn’t engaged in any high-risk behaviour. He is now in isolation for 14 days and has labored with us on figuring out his shut contacts.’

Marquand had been booked for English King in the Leger earlier than that colt was switched to the Grand Prix de Paris.


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