WILLIAM MUIR is never short of a few words – but even he was stunned to silence after underdog Pyledriver blazed to King George glory yesterday.
The outsider of six dented some big reputations as he ran away with the Ascot showpiece at a whopping 18-1.
And judged by the noise that greeted Pyledriver as he crossed the line, not many had reason to celebrate.
But, as ever, Muir couldn’t care less and promised the party of all parties back at his Lambourn yard. Once he’s driven the horsebox back that is.
Barely able to catch his breath and dripping with sweat, Muir eventually beamed: “I’ve said for two weeks we were going to win!
“Look at me, I can’t talk!”
The race could not have gone any better for the five-year-old.
Irish Derby winner and 13-8 favourite Westover was too keen and blew his chance before the field had even turned in.
Emily Upjohn was never in the race and Mishriff was always on the back foot after James Doyle blew the start.
But nonetheless, Pyledriver smashed the Arc winner Torquator Tasso with ease into second.
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Muir and his stand-in jockey PJ McDonald aren’t the most fashionable pair in racing, but sexy buys you nothing in this game.
Even Pyledriver himself is used to being ignored. He went unsold at the sales once upon a time as buyers couldn’t even find ten grand to make a bid as a yearling.
Now his brave owners are turning down much bigger offers for their pride and joy.
Muir, who has been training since 1991, recently added Chris Grassick to the licence and credited Pyledriver’s groom Jeta Ram for the reason his horse was back in top form.
Muir said: “I can’t tell you what this means, it means the world.
“But look, I knew for a fortnight we were going to win this and I didn’t care who was going to turn up.
“My lad Jeta rides him every single morning and knows him like the back of his hand.
“And he said to me ‘he’s flying’. Bless him, he bites Jeta every day, takes chunks out of him and he never turns a hair.
“He even said to me this morning, ‘you’ll win boss!’”
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This was only Muir’s second ever win at the top level. He was taking on and beating the likes of John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien who taste Group 1 success month after month.
Who could blame workaholic Muir for enjoying the moment and even poking a bit of fun at the opposition.
He added: “I’m driving the box back, I don’t get away with anything!
“I’ve said I never wanted to cry, but I want to cry today. This is special.
“I know they say Westover was fantastic in the Irish Derby. I know they say Emily Upjohn was terrific, but we know this Pyledriver is a very, very good horse.
“Once again they wrote us off!
“I can tell you now, I don’t drink and I’m not going to start to drink, but everybody else will have a party tonight.
“This is a big, big moment. It means the world to me.”
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McDonald, who partnered the horse to win at two, only got the call-up to ride Pyledriver last weekend.
Pyledriver’s usual pilot Martin Dwyer, Muir’s son-in-law, is sidelined after rupturing his knee ligaments after a gallops fall in the spring.
And McDonald, 40, was quick to thank Dwyer for the advice ahead of the big race.
He said: “It’s unbelievable but I can’t believe how easy it was!
“I always was in the best position and he just travelled so well into the race.
“Martin told me not to be afraid to kick-on as he stays so well and he’s ended up doing it going away.
“You think days like this will pass you by as you get to the end of your career.
“But it’s a pity it’s at Martin’s expense, it’s his ride. He’s been so helpful to me prepping me for this and I’ll be forever grateful to him.”
For the likes of Westover and Emily Upjohn it’s back to the drawing board.
But for Pyledriver all roads lead to the Arc and who would bet against him delivering another knockout blow there?
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