Trainer William Muir on Wednesday explained the sad news that his stable star Pyledriver will miss the Juddmonte International at York's Ebor meeting and now he is giving the horse time to recover before naming his next target.
The now four year old was a real success story for the fairly small yard last term having made his seasonal debut in June when finishing second at Kempton, but since then improving with every run and showing he is a real black type contender.
He headed to Royal Ascot for his second start of the season and he was a shock winner of the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes.
The colt was given a Derby entry and went to Epsom but having being bumped in the big field early on he ran no race and as a far as Muir was concerned they drew a line through that run.
He proved how special he can be next time out when taking the Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes at York's Ebor meeting, being eased down in the final stages.
The St Leger was next on the agenda and with many pundits fearing he would not stay, they were proved wrong as the three year old finished a length third behind winner Galileo Chrome.
Although seeing out the marathon trip his trainer believes he is best over 1 mile 4 furlongs, but he did not give his best running on his final start of the season when only seventh of 10 in the Group One Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Back for another season this term the son of Harbour Watch finished a decent second in the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket behind the smart Sir Ron Priestley.
With that run under his belt Muir, as ever, was bullish about the chances of his star in the Group One event at Epsom and in a very gritty fashion, he got back up late on when passed by Al Aasy to land the Coronation Cup.
Pyledriver seemed to give everything to win the race and it looks to have taken its toll on the gelding with him missing Royal Ascot through a muscle injury and with Tenderness still there, he will now miss York's Ebor festival.
(Credit ATR) Muir said: “We’ve run out of time, we were trying to get his groin right, (but) my physio she’s very good and she said if I went and galloped I might put him back two weeks,” Muir told Racing TV.
“You got to be 100 per cent. I wouldn’t be going there gallop-fit, like I would have been going to the King George. We all had a chat and just made a decision – we’ll go again and when he’s 100 per cent he’ll be there to fight.
“It’s just frustrating as hell because you could drive upsides him, you can watch him trotting and he’s trotting out like a lion, but if you push these soft tissue things just a bit too quick you might go backwards. I might get a mental problem with him and he might think he’s always going to be sore.
“Years ago, when I first started out, I had Averti, and he pulled a muscle, and we just started to get back and we went a bit quick and then he did it again. It was pretty frustrating and it took me the next time before I got it right.
“When it came right he went on to do tremendous things, but you have to be patient and you can’t win these Group One races unless you are 100 per cent. I’m not where I want to be so I’ve got to suck it and see.
“He’s just been cantering away, quiet canters every day, and you drive upsides in the jeep when you think he’s moving as well as you can ever say, but you can’t see the little tear.
“The lads that look after him say to me ‘boss, he’s not quite right because he’s very quiet, he’s not biting us’. They’re brilliant, they know him like the back of their hands so it’s all little signs telling me ‘just take your time with him until he’s eating them again’ and then away we go.”