Muir has Group-race ambitions for Pyledriver this term

Promising colt ‘looks like a Rolls-Royce’ and could be given Classic chance.

  • Thursday 23 April
  • News
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William Muir has full faith in Pyledriver’s ability to make his mark in Group-race company this term, with a Classic bid a possibility.

The Harbour Watch colt won the Listed Ascendant Stakes at Haydock last year before disappointing when upped to Group Two level in the Royal Lodge Stakes.

Muir entered Pyledriver for next month’s Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas, but with racing currently on hold in both Britain and Ireland due to the coronavirus pandemic and future international travel also in question, the trainer admits it is hard to make plans.

He said: “He’s in great form, in really good shape. He’s well in himself and looks like a Rolls-Royce, but obviously it’s all up in the air right now.

“If racing were to resume next month, I wouldn’t have to do too much to have him 100 per cent.”

Muir had been planning a prep run before any Classic outing and is not certain to head straight to the Curragh, even if he is allowed.

He said: “Would I want to start him in an Irish Guineas, if they let us run? Charlie Hills did it last year with Phoenix Of Spain, but I don’t know.

“The plan had been to run in the Craven or the Feilden last week, see how he got on and make a decision from there.

“He is a very, very nice horse, I don’t know if he’s Group One class, but I think he will win a Group race.

“If they cancelled our entry in the Irish Guineas because we weren’t allowed to travel and there was a trial before our Guineas and he ran a big race, you might have a look, but who knows what is going to happen.”

Muir also has high hopes for Final Option, who won one of her four juvenile starts and finished fourth in a Group Three, with subsequent Cheveley Park winner Millisle in second.

He said: “I have a nice filly, Final Option, and I think she’s really decent. She was fourth in the Dick Poole and probably wasn’t as strong as she is now.

“If there’s a trial, I’ll put her in there and see how she gets on, then make a decision.

“As long as the horses stay fit and well, we will find races for them when racing returns.”

Racing is suspended indefinitely in Britain, but there are hopes of a return to action next month and Muir will have his team primed for action.

He added: “All the horses had a holiday through the winter, I don’t keep many going, and the plan was to have them in training this year, and apart from one setback, that’s what has happened.

“I’m very lucky as my owners have been magnificent and the horses will be ready to run when racing returns.

“The most important thing though is that the numbers (of deaths and cases of coronavirus) continue to reduce as they have done over the last few days. Too many people have been lost and you just have to hope the situation continues to improve.”

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