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Jockey Martin Dwyer hopes Pyledriver’s King George VI win at Ascot will earn the colt recognition

Jockey Martin Dwyer hopes Pyledriver’s win in the star-studded King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot will give the foal the recognition it lacked

  • Martin Dwyer hopes Pyledriver’s big win on Saturday will bring recognition to the foal
  • The jockey missed his usual ride due to injury; PJ McDonald took charge instead
  • Dwyer thinks Pyledriver isn’t getting the recognition he deserves

Martin Dwyer hopes Pyledriver finally gets the recognition he thinks the foal deserves after wrecking a solid line-up in the £1.25m King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday at Ascot.

It was a bittersweet moment for Derby-winning jockey Dwyer as he watched PJ McDonald come together with his regular mount, an 18-1 shot jointly trained by his father-in-law William Muir, while still recovering from a serious knee injury.

Dwyer said: “I was really happy for the team, but it was hard sitting on the bench looking at my swollen knee and watching the race.

Martin Dwyer usually rides Pyledriver but missed Saturday's big race due to injury

Martin Dwyer usually rides Pyledriver but missed Saturday’s big race due to injury

“I don’t know if I’m the only one who’s grumpy, but the whole underdog thing annoys me, which is kind of ridiculous right now. Pyledriver is a very good horse and has been running in the best races for two years. He’s not going to win every race he enters, but how many horses do that apart from Frankel, Sea The Stars and now Baaeed?

He beat an Arc winner in Torquator Tasso and an Irish Derby winner in Westover on Saturday. What else should he do?’

Dwyer praised McDonald’s ride after discussing pre-race tactics with his replacement. He said, ‘Hopefully PJ can keep riding him while I’m free. He called me and we walked through the race, but he made his own decisions. He leaned behind Broome and Westover, letting them slit each other’s throats beforehand. It was a very smart ride.’

The fact that Pyledriver’s dam La Pyle was a low-grade hurdler and he was unwanted when put up for sale by his owner breeders at the yearling sale added to the romance of Saturday’s win.

PJ McDonald drove Pyledriver to victory in the King George VI stakes at Ascot on Saturday

PJ McDonald drove Pyledriver to victory in the King George VI stakes at Ascot on Saturday

Harbor Watch’s son, who has won seven of his 18 races and won more than £1.8 million in prize money, will head to the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe in Longchamp on October 2.

Dwyer, 47, is working hard on his rehabilitation but it seems unlikely he will be back in time to renew his partnership with Pyledriver after severing his cruciate and medial ligaments in a canter fall – which also knocked him unconscious in March .

Dwyer said, “I do everything I can and listen to experts. I can’t put full weight on my knee yet and I’m concentrating on the next goal, which is to walk without crutches.

“I wish I had just broken my leg because it would have been a lot easier. After the fall, my knee had to lie down for eight weeks to get the swelling down before I had surgery. “That was two months ago. People keep asking me how I’m doing. You’re getting a little tired of answering the question.

“Once I get the knee bearing, I think I’ll be on top of the hill and accomplished something. I hope I can move faster then faster.’

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