where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-09-05 13:35:22  
William Muir Retires Pyledriver, the Horse of a Lifetime, Following Setback

In a poignant turn of events, William Muir, the accomplished horse trainer, has announced the end of Pyledriver's illustrious racing career. This decision comes in the wake of an unexpected setback, which dashed hopes of the horse's intended appearance at Kempton on an eagerly awaited Saturday race.

Reflecting on Pyledriver's last performance, Muir recounted, "He worked on Saturday and, to be honest, he was sensational. He's never a horse we've galloped off the bridle and done anything stupid with, but it was just the way he did it, the way he moved, the way he looked, and he marched off the gallops like a lion."

Despite initial optimism, an underlying issue emerged. Muir explained, "I actually said to the owners, 'you've just seen your next winner,' and he was fine 90 percent of the way home. But when he got back to the yard, he was just a little bit sore in the same place we first got the suspensory injury before."

Consequently, Muir consulted the vet, who determined that Pyledriver had "tweaked" his injury, resulting in inflammation. However, Pyledriver's resilience was evident, as Muir continued, "like Pyledriver does on Sunday morning, he was 100 percent sound and bucking and kicking."

Intriguingly, the horse showed remarkable improvement during his rehabilitation. "We had him on the walker on Sunday and cantered him on Monday, and the vet came back and looked at him and couldn't believe it," Muir stated.

Yet, the decision to retire Pyledriver was made with a heavy heart. Muir explained his reasoning, saying, "We could run him on Saturday, and he might win, but the horse has done so much for us, and I just feel if I ran him and he tweaked it, there's a good chance he could do some damage."

Muir's concern for the well-being of the horse extended beyond the racetrack. "This horse has been fantastic to all of us, to the owners, to me, to the yard, and to the jockeys that have ridden him," he emphasized. "He doesn't deserve anything to go wrong, so I think it's the right time."

In a heartfelt declaration, Muir underscored the universal principle guiding his decision, irrespective of the horse's stature. "He's been a fantastic servant, but it isn't just him," Muir noted. "I'd be the same if this was a small-time runner at Southwell on a Saturday night. It's just the case that I'm in this game because I love animals, I've worked with horses all my life, and we've got to do what's right."

With a profound sense of responsibility, Muir concluded, "My mind and my heart are telling me it's the right thing to do at this time." In retiring Pyledriver, he honors a magnificent career and upholds the welfare of the horse, showcasing the enduring bond between humans and their equine companions in the world of horse racing.

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