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ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND – The first major upset of the 2020 Royal Ascot Meet came on Day 1 when Pyledriver sprung loose at the top of the stretch and strode home at 18/1 to win Tuesday’s King Edward VII Stakes (G2).
With Martin Dwyer in the saddle, Pyledriver raced along the rail in the back half of the six-horse field with the 3/5 stateside favorite Mogul to his outside. Sound Of Cannons established a healthy early lead over Arthur’s Kingdom, but the once-strung-out field bunched up nearing the top of the stretch, where the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of Mogul and Arthur’s Kingdom loomed dangerously.
While everyone else tipped out wide to go after the pacesetter, Dwyer kept Pyledriver inside and found an opening through which to send. Quickly overtaking the leader 2 furlongs out, Pyledriver got loose and was never threatened before crossing victorious.
The William Muir trainee completed the 12-furlong event over good to soft turf in 2:32.21.
“It was only a six-runner race and I thought the two of Aidan’s were the only ones to beat,” Dwyer said. “I knew he had more in him. … He did it well. The ground was no trouble to him.”
Arthur’s Kingdom finished ahead of Mohican Heights, while Mogul was one-paced in the stretch and could muster no better than fourth. Sound Of Cannons and Papa Power completed the order of finish.
What an amazing story in the King Edward VII StakesBought for just £10,000, Pyledriver quickens up really smartly to leave his rivals toiling and deliver a fairytale win for jockey Martin Dwyer and trainer William Muir 😍#RoyalAscot pic.twitter.com/ZBqx4ogNAu— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) June 16, 2020
What an amazing story in the King Edward VII StakesBought for just £10,000, Pyledriver quickens up really smartly to leave his rivals toiling and deliver a fairytale win for jockey Martin Dwyer and trainer William Muir 😍#RoyalAscot pic.twitter.com/ZBqx4ogNAu
Pyledriver is a 3-year-old Harbour Watch colt who ran a good second in his 2020 debut in the Unibet Classic Trial Stakes (G3) over the Kempton all-weather surface 13 days prior. A Knox & Wells Limited and R W Devlin homebred, his record now stands at 6-3-1-0.
“This horse is still a big, weak horse baby, he has progressed and progressed,” Muir said. “It is only the last three days that he has come alight. I went to feel his legs the other night and he reared up on top of me, and I thought, ‘You’re coming now, you’re getting your strength up.’ I knew he’d stay, and he’s got a turn of foot.”
Pyledriver brought back $41.80 to win and $12.20 to place. Arthur’s Kingdom returned $3.60 to place.
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