Pyledriver in 'fantastic' shape and as short as 7-1 for red-hot Coronation Cup at next week's Derby Festival

TRAINER William Muir is hoping Pyledriver can pummel a top-class field in next week’s Coronation Cup.

The four-year-old will form part of a star-studded line-up in the prestigious Group 1 on Oaks day at Epsom. 

Runaway Newbury winner Al Aasy, former Juddmonte International hero Japan and Arc runner-up In Swoop are all on course for the big race.

And Lambourn-based Muir is hopeful his stable star, who was second in the Jockey Club Stakes on his reappearance, can bag a first top-level win.

Muir told Sun Racing: “It looks like it’s going to be a very good race as you’d expect for a big Group 1 at the Derby meeting.

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“He is a great big horse and we’ve said all along we expected him to come into his own this year.

“Physically he looks fantastic and we couldn’t be more pleased with him at home.

“This race has long been the plan and I’m confident of a good run.”

Pyledriver is 7-1 for the Coronation with Ladbrokes, and Muir will be hoping for better luck than his last run to Epsom.

He was quietly-fancied for the Derby last summer after an easy win in the King Edward at Royal Ascot. 

But he was brought to a near standstill having been hampered and was well-beaten as Serpentine sprung a 25-1 shock.

Muir said: “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time last year. 

“He was wiped out and never able to recover, but it should be a smaller field this year so hopefully it’ll be a clean race.

“I was really pleased with his comeback at Newmarket. I didn’t have him 100% that day as there were bigger targets ahead.

“He has come-on no end for it. I’ll just be praying all goes well between now and next Friday.”

There is a new name on the licence at Linkslade Stables, as Archie Watson's former assistant Chris Grassick was named co-trainer to Muir at the start of the season.

But Muir says he has no plans of packing it in after 28 years at the helm in Lambourn.

He added: "No chance am I thinking of winding down.

"Chris was a lad I always got on with, he had been with Archie the last few years.

"I chatted to him on the gallops and he said he wanted to start training, but that it would be very hard to start out with a small number of horses by himself.

"He asked me if I would ever consider a joint licence and I was more than happy to help him out, and everything has gone well so far."

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