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Pyledriver in good shape after Saudi disappointment

William Muir feels a wide draw got the better of Pyledriver after his beaten run in the Group Three Neom Turf Cup in Riyadh.

After being handed the widest berth of all in stall 14, the five-year-old broke well but struggled to settle into a rhythm and was forced to race widest of all around the bend.

In the latter stages of the race he began to fade and was then hampered by the falling Channel Cat, eventually going on to cross the line in 11th place.

“He was fine straight after the race, there was nothing wrong with him and he was in really good shape, we were just drawn in 14 and as soon as we’d gone 150 yards I said to the boys watching on TV ‘we’ve got no chance’,” said Muir, who co-trains the Coronation Cup winner alongside Chris Grassick.

“We got pushed out wide and that was where we were drawn so we have no complaints, but we were out wide and we were never into an even rhythm.

Pyledriver winning the King Edward VII Stakes
Pyledriver winning the King Edward VII Stakes (Edward Whitaker/PA)

“It was not a nice race for us and then were was a bit of a bumping match and that horse (Channel Cat) came down which was sad, that bumped us too and then after that Martin (Dwyer) just looked after him.

“It was just one of those you have to put a line through, it’s disappointing to go a long way to get a race like that but that happens – it’s the luck of the draw.”

Muir was forced to cancel his trip to Saudi Arabia after testing positive for Covid, but his team out in Riyadh reported the horse to be well with himself and connections will now begin to turn their attentions to the Sheema Classic in Dubai.

“He’s fine, he didn’t really have a race and he only blew for about five minutes,” the trainer said.

“He looked fantastic this morning, they took a video for me and he’s 100 per cent sound.

Pyledriver after winning the Coronation Cup
Pyledriver after winning the Coronation Cup (Mike Egerton/PA)

“If he comes home fine then he’ll continue on to his road to Dubai and we’ll go for the Sheema Classic.

“It was just one of the things, from me testing positive and not being able to go, I was disappointed about that, then things just didn’t go to plan. It wasn’t meant to be.”

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