William Muir insists Martin Dwyer will keep the ride on King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Pyledriver once he returns from a knee injury.
A son of Harbour Watch, both the La Pyle Partnership-owned six-year-old and his jockey have been sidelined.
While Dwyer is still undergoing treatment for a torn ACL and has spent the last year out of action, Pyledriver is now nearing his first start since last summer’s victory at Ascot and is being primed to make his comeback in the BetUK Winter Derby at Lingfield next month.
Trained by Muir in partnership with Chris Grassick, Pyledriver was was being prepared for October’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe but suffered a setback that also ruled him out of the Breeders’ Cup.
The February 25 all-weather contest will be a stepping stone for a trip to Meydan for the Dubai Sheema Classic at the end of March.
Muir said: “The timing is perfect for Dubai. That is where we are hoping to go. We are turning the wheel to get there.
“We did the same when we went to Hong Kong in 2021, we went to Lingfield first.
“Yes, the trip is not ideal over a mile and a quarter, but so what? It is a prep race to try and put the finishing touches on. I don’t want to get to Dubai and have to really crank him up there.
“So he will go there and it is a race where he will run well, but you may get some match-fit horses against him.
“But what does it matter? There are going to be other targets throughout the summer and this is the starting point.”
He added: “He is doing everything we are asking of him and we are starting to turn the wheel faster and faster. We will hopefully be in good shape when we get there. Everything seems to be rock and roll.”
The homebred, who also won the 2021 Coronation Cup and was fourth in last year’s Sheema Classic for the Linkslade yard, will again be partnered by PJ McDonald, who continues to deputise for Muir’s son-in-law.
Muir added: “When Martin is back, Martin will get back on him. PJ understands and Martin understands.
“But there is no question, as long as PJ is around and safe and sound, PJ is keeping the ride on him if Martin is not available.
“Martin needs to have something to look forward to. He has never been out for this length of time, and it’s a tough thing for him.”Enjoy a free one month trial of Racing TV – the only channel showing every race live from the Cheltenham Festival! Watch every race live from all the meetings that matter across Britain and Ireland including the Dublin Racing Festival. Click above to start yours now.
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