Pyledriver hard as nails as he denies Al Aasy in the Coronation Cup
4 Jun 2021
William Muir's star shows huge heart in pulsating Coral Coronation Cup
It was a battle for the ages in the Coral Coronation Cup which saw underdog Pyledriver and rising star Al Aasy fight it out for Group 1 glory at Epsom Downs.
It was Pyledriver, a horse who couldn’t be sold for £10,000 two years ago, who won the war in the end. Having lost the lead with two furlongs to go, he showed incredible heart to knuckle down and deny Al Aasy. William Haggas’ runner looked to have done enough in the closing stages but was just denied victory.
Things hadn’t gone to plan early doors for Al Aasy having missed the break. He was settled in at the rear and the strong pace helped him find a rhythm.
The eventual winner Pyledriver was happy enough in midfield in the opening stanzas. Rounding the turn the race began to take shape, and it was Martyn Dwyer who seized the initiative down the straight. He opted to send his mount on and had all his rivals beat, bar the closing Al Aasy, at three furlongs out.
Al Aasy made effortless ground coming down the straight, with Jim Crowley’s urgings sparking rapid progress as they came to the two furlong marker. He breezed past Aidan O’Brien’s Japan, and it became a two horse race.
The crowds returning to Epsom for the first time this year were not disappointed. As Al Aasy moved to within a neck of his rival with seemingly plenty to give. He took a narrow lead and this looked for a moment to have settled the race.
However, Pyledriver was in no mood for settling for 2nd and knuckled down in the final stages to get his head back in front in the final strides to claim the Coral Coronation Cup.
Welcome cheers rang around Epsom, and nobody was more delighted than jockey Martyn Dwyer, he said after the race, “I’m so proud of the horse. On a personal level, there’s times when I’ve hated racing. But days like this I can’t describe in words.”