‘Running is a wonderful sport’ – emotional Dwyer claims Group 1 on Pyledriver | Horse racing news
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
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Pyledriver (Martin Dwyer, right) defeats Al Aasy in the Coronation Cup
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Scargill
A horse that nobody wanted, a jockey who wonders why he is so often overlooked for the biggest races and a trainer who waited 30 years for a Group 1 triumph stood proudly together in the winners’ enclosure after the Coral Coronation Cup, with the success of Pyledriver reminding everyone of the joy sport can bring to those who do their best to be successful.
Pyledriver has come a long way since being led unsold for 10,000 gns as a sales colt in 2017, adding a Group 1 debut to his Group 2 triumphs in the King Edward VII Stakes and Great Voltigeur of the Year. last by digging deep and fending off favorite Al Aasy under the guidance of jockey Martin Dwyer for co-trainers William Muir and Chris Grassick.
It was a victory that left Dwyer, 45, feeling, by his own admission, strangely emotional after adding Epsom’s Group 1 third to his 2003 Oaks wins over Casual Look and the 2006 Derby over Sir Percy.
“It was a great race to play and I imagine it would be the same to watch; they are two very tough horses,” he said. “I don’t know what got into me, but I was a little emotional.
“It gets more and more difficult because all the good horses are with the greatest trainers and I think that’s why people like to see horses like him and sport owners get the rewards because they are the underdogs.
“It’s hard to have good races, and when you do it you feel like you end up defending yourself all the time. So when it comes down well and you win a good race you enjoy it. a bit more.”
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Martin Dwyer: “I don’t know what hit me but I was a little moved”
Dwyer believing that the best rides are rarer with the best horses regularly housed in the same small number of yards, he admitted that the pressure to deliver when given the opportunity, as it has been by the Pyledriver owners – Guy and Huw Leach and Roger Devlin – were always present.
“You get frustrated when you don’t go shopping,” he said. “People say things like ‘why don’t you use x, y or z to ride a horse, why are you using Martin Dwyer ?.’ This is sport and this is what happens and you have to fight for your corner.
“When I was young and just starting out I would lose races to jockeys like Pat Eddery and Walter Swinburn and I was told this was happening because people wanted more experienced riders and I would have my turn. Then when I turned 40 I started losing races to young jockeys! You can’t beat the experience. “
Coach William Muir’s experience was complemented by Chris Grassick’s youthfulness this season, but it’s Muir on the Epsom stage as he was finally able to celebrate a first Group 1 having started training in 1991.
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William Muir: coach recorded his first Group 1 success
“That’s what we’re doing it for,” Muir said. “I’ve been waiting for this for 30 years and my partner Chris has only trained for five minutes and he’s already won one! I came here thinking we were going to win.
“The plan has been in place all year round: Jockey Club Cup, here, Hardwicke, King George. I think we’ll consider the Arc for him too – why not?
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