- Sire-Dam -
Bargain buy Pyledriver provided a feelgood factor in 2020 when he ran in two Classics and showed himself to be among the best three-year-olds in training. Known by those closest to him as “Dave” from the day he was foaled, he is owned by brothers Guy and Huw Leach, plus their long-time friend Roger Devlin.
He changed hands for only 10,000gns as a yearling; a victim trainer William Muir believes of his sire [Harbour Watch] becoming unfashionable. He sees parallels in his own Lambourn yard, where less than 30 horses reside.
“It’s all fashion, nobody even looked at him [at the Sales] – and he’s gorgeous to look at with a great stride,” Muir told Champions Series before Pyledriver ran in the Pertemps St Leger. “We’re not a fashionable yard, everyone wants somebody younger. It’s just one of those things.”
Pyledriver ran a cracker to be third at Town Moor, beaten just over a length. That was no surprise, though, given the nature of his impressive wins en route in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes at York when carrying a 3lb penalty.
Big-money offers for Pyledriver, exceeding seven figures, have been rejected. Muir said: “If the offers had been accepted I don’t think he would have stayed in this country – places like Australia and Hong Kong wanted him really badly. If one person had owned him, you couldn’t have said no to the kind of offers we got – it was life-changing money – but there’s three of them, and they wanted to keep him.”
Pyledriver’s season in 2020 was not without disappointments. He endured a luckless run in the Investec Derby at Epsom, when finishing eleventh of the 16 runners, and failed to figure on his final start in the QIPCO Champion Stakes.
Perhaps, a long and fruitful season had taken its toll on the latter occasion. Hopefully, he will return with batteries refreshed in 2021.