William Muir reports King George hero Pyledriver to be “jumping out of his skin” as he prepares for a tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.
Despite being a previous winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Great Voltigeur at York and the Coronation Cup at Epsom, the four-year-old was a widely unconsidered 18-1 shot for last month’s midsummer showpiece – but could hardly have been more impressive in the hands of PJ McDonald.
Muir, who trains Pyledriver in partnership with Chris Grassick, said in the immediate aftermath his stable star would not run again before contesting Europe’s premier middle-distance contest.
And while he is not completely ruling out a possible prep run in Kempton’s September Stakes, a direct route to Paris remains his intention.
“Pyledriver is in super shape – he’s jumping out of his skin,” said the trainer. “I said to the lad who rides him I wanted to give him a break, but he said ‘God, I had a job to stay with him this morning’. He’s jumping and kicking and squealing and is in really good order.
“The plan is straight to the Arc. If there was any reason to give him a run, and this is so far at the back of my mind, there is the September Stakes at Kempton if we wanted to do that.
“I don’t want to do that. I want to go straight to the Arc, then after that it will be one or the other of the Breeders’ Cup or Japan and then on to Hong Kong.”