Pyledriver plans unchanged despite King George eclipse

The Juddmonte International and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe remain on the agenda for Pyledriver after finishing fifth in defence of his King George crown at Ascot on Saturday.

Following a successful return from 11 months on the sidelines in the Hardwicke Stakes at the Royal meeting in June, hopes were high ahead of William Muir and Chris Grassick’s stable star’s bid for back-to-back wins in a spectacular renewal of the track’s midsummer highlight.

Pyledriver ultimately came up short, beaten just under nine lengths into fifth place as Hukum denied Westover in a thrilling finish, but Muir is far from downbeat.

“It was a great race and I’m not going to change my opinion, he’s going to go for the same races we had targeted for him before Saturday,” he said.

“Don’t take anything away from the winner and the second because they ran great races. PJ (McDonald, jockey) said if he had a perfect run he could have been a little bit closer, but that was all.

“I said before the race the worst thing that can happen is we get beat and we’ll go on and go forwards.

“The best sportsmen in the world have been beaten before now and they come back again. He’s fine, he’s in good shape and took his race lovely, so that is all we need.

“It’s the same plan as it was – he’ll go for the Juddmonte International or the September Stakes, but I would think probably the Juddmonte, then the Arc.”

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