William Muir proud after Pyledriver’s bold Hong Kong Vase run at Sha Tin

Trainer William Muir said he felt “proud” after Pyledriver recorded an heroic second-place in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin on Sunday under Martin Dwyer.

The four-year-old gave everything in the Group 1 contest, eventually succumbing by just a length to Glory Vase, who was winning the race for a second time.

The only British runner in a field of eight that included Aidan O'Brien's reigning champion Mogul, Pyledriver had to give best in the closing stages.

"We were in a very difficult spot to see clearly what was happening, obviously we were in their country with Covid (restrictions) and we were given areas that we were allowed in," said Muir.

"I didn't see the other horse (Glory Vase) coming down the outside and inside the final furlong I thought 'we've done it!' Then the horse came over the top."

"Your first thought is 'ah sugar, we just got beat!' but then you're so, so proud."

"The winner finished second to Loves Only You this year in a big Group One and he won this race in 2019 and broke the track record," said Muir.

"He is a fair, fair, good horse and that's why he was the favourite."

The journey to Hong Kong was a first trip abroad for Pyledriver and his performance under such circumstances left Muir hopeful that there may be even more successful overseas runs to come.

"Your first run (abroad) is not your best run but I thought he ran fantastic, I was so proud of him.

"I knew he would fly fine but you don't know how they'll take it, you don't know if they'll drink or they'll eat but he coped with all those things.

"People have told me 'you wait until the next time you go, he'll start to love these journeys abroad'.

"It's onwards and upwards, we're looking for the next race and where to go next."

The Saudi Cup meeting is now under consideration, with his winter campaign intended to lead him to the Sheema Classic at the Dubai World Cup meeting in March before a break is pencilled in ahead of the British summer turf season.

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