Pyledriver ruled out of International

 In Lambourn News

Coronation Cup winner Pyledriver will miss next week’s Juddmonte International Stakes at York due to continued tenderness on a pulled muscle that ruled the colt out of last month’s King George.

The four-year-old picked up an injury four days before the Ascot Group 1 in July and is not yet back to full work. He was a general 10-1 chance for Wednesday’s race.

Joint-trainer William Muir said: “My physiotherapist didn’t want him to gallop yesterday because he’s still quite tender on that muscle, so I had a long chat with the owners last night and told them if I can’t gallop it’s going to be too close to the race.

“I can’t go there undercooked because he could get a serious injury, as at the moment we just have a pulled muscle.

“We’re going to make a programme to see how quick we can be back. It’s very disappointing because we wanted to go to the King George and then we wanted to come to York because he loves the track, but it’s no good going there if he’s not 100 per cent fit because you can’t win.

“He looks absolutely stunning. People say this game is great, but it could make me cry sometimes, as he looks so well. He’s just sore in that area, and if he starts moving differently you could do something somewhere else.

“I’ve done it – I had a sore hip and now my back’s sore. I don’t want to go down that line with him and ask him to do things when he’s not ready to do it. If we do what’s right for him, he’ll repay us.”

Pyledriver won the Great Voltigeur at last year’s Ebor festival, the second Group 2 success of his career. He won his first Group 1 in the Coronation Cup in June, scoring by a neck from Al Aasy and next week’s race, which could feature St Mark’s Basilica, Mishriff and Love, was set to be the colt’s first run since.

Muir said: “We know they’re very good horses, but I feel we would have been right up there. If we hadn’t had this setback going into the King George I thought he would have run a massive race there. I’m not saying he’d have definitely beaten Adayar but he would have been very close to him.”

A tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was expected to be next on the cards, but connections may have to look further abroad for Pyledriver’s next outing, with Muir confident his stable star will be back towards the end of the season.

“We’d likely be going to the Arc without a prep race. We considered the September Stakes, but I’m not going to put any targets down now. I’d love to go to the Arc, but it would be without a prep run which would be very tough. You have Hong Kong, Japan and Dubai through the winter, there are loads of places for us to go, so because he’s missing two races now, he’s getting a bit of an enforced break.”

Muir added: “He’s only had two runs, which is a little bit frustrating, but I don’t want to do something so it tears again and makes it worse, so I’ve got to be careful. It’s really sad for my yard, myself and the owners, but what would be even worse is if I did some damage to him that he wouldn’t come back from. It’s better to be cautious with horses of any description but him – he’s a horse of a lifetime, so I’ve got to do what’s right.”

Courtesy of Racing Post

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