Pyledriver to bypass Japan Cup and Hong Kong Vase with focus turned to Dubai Sheema Classic

Pyledriver will not run in either the Japan Cup or Hong Kong Vase, with connections preferring to aim their King George hero at the Dubai Sheema Classic next spring.

The five-year-old has been off the track since lowering the colours of some top-class opposition in Ascot's summer Group One, with a setback scuppering an intended run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. 

Attentions were then turned to either next month's Japan Cup or the Hong Kong Vase in December - a race in which he was a gallant second in 12 months ago.

But the decision has been made to give the William Muir and Chris Grassick-trained son of Harbour Watch plenty of time to hit his peak and he will now be pointed towards the Meydan Group One, where he was an unlucky fourth in earlier in the year, with an all-weather spin on home soil in preparation also on the cards.

"Pyledriver is absolutely fine and has been given the all-clear, everything is perfect," said Muir.

"We weighed up the options of going to Japan or Hong Kong and decided to bring him back gently. Because it was only four weeks from now, we thought we don't want to go straight into galloping, we want to canter away for a few weeks.

"So, following a meeting with the owners, we've decided to give him a little break and will give him one race before the Sheema Classic - Lingfield Derby trial or Lingfield Derby, something like that if he qualifies for it and then on to the Sheema Classic, that is the race we're going to target.

"We're definitely missing Hong Kong and Japan as it would have come too soon. We would have really liked to have gone for them to be honest, but the horse has to come first in every aspect, and it would have meant a week cantering and straight into galloping and we didn't want to do that.

"He's such a good horse, we thought let's just let him have his break and we've then got all next year to race."

READ MORE: Stone injury puts Blue Rose Cen out of Breeders' Cup

Latest news