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Breeders' Cup: Pyledriver ruled out of US trip as trainer William Muir aims at Japan Cup with King George hero

Pyledriver missed Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp as he recovers from soft tissue injury; Japan Cup, Hong Kong and Sheema Classic on the agenda for King George hero; Saffron Beach also set to miss US trip after dirty scope

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Trainer William Muir revealed why the Breeders' Cup will come too soon for King George star Pyledriver, with a shot at the Japan Cup now the next aim.

Pyledriver will bypass the Breeders' Cup as co-trainers William Muir and Chris Grassick set their sights on the Far East with the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes hero.

The five-year-old was hugely impressive when beating last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Torquator Tasso in the Ascot summer highlight.

However, he has not run since, having been sidelined with a soft tissue injury which also ruled him out of Sunday's ParisLongchamp feature.

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Connections are now mulling over a trip to the Japan Cup or the Hong Kong Vase - in which he was a length runner-up last year - for his next outing, after bypassing Keeneland.

Muir, who was an interested bystander in the French capital as he watched the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Alpinista win Europe's biggest race, told Sky Sports Racing: "I think it [Breeders' Cup] will come too soon and there's no way I'm putting pressure on him at any stage.

PJ McDonald holds aloft the King George trophy after riding Pyledriver to victory at Ascot
Image: PJ McDonald holds aloft the King George trophy after riding Pyledriver to victory at Ascot

"He's swimming every day and doing loads of it. He's goes through it like he's a jet plane!

"If we were going to America I'd need him to be 100 per cent fit and it's coming quickly.

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"The Japan cup may well come right, if not we'll have to wait for Hong Kong and then the Sheema Classic [in Dubai]."

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Arc-winning jockey Luke Morris had to fight back the tears after Alpinista's victory in Paris for trainer Sir Mark Prescott.

Reflecting on the missed opportunity in the Arc, Muir said: "His form is there, he would've run well in the ground. But Sir Mark Prescott, take a bow, you are the champion. He is a top man.

"I wasn't there and Sir Mark was - well done. There's no point taking anything away from the Arc winner.

"I know he [Pyledriver] is good. He proved it in the King George and he'll come out and run to that form again."

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Torquator Tasso could get Japanese swansong

Connections of Torquator Tasso are debating a possible Japan Cup bid following his fine effort in the Arc.

The defending champion was handed a horror draw in stall 18 out of 20. But with conditions in the French capital turning in his favour, the Marcel Weiss-trained five-year-old went down fighting under a vintage Frankie Dettori ride to finish third.

Although set to retire to stud at the end of the year, he could make one final racecourse appearance in the Far East on November 27 providing conditions are not too firm for the mud-loving son of Adlerflug.

PJ McDonald punches the air as Pyledriver beats Torquator Tasso to win the King George at Ascot
Image: Pyledriver beats Torquator Tasso to win the King George at Ascot

"It was a fantastic race from him," said part-owner Peter-Michael Endres. "Obviously the win would be a lot nicer, but we are happy with third place, because from (stall) 18 it is very difficult to win.

"Starting box 18 was such a bad position and he nearly won the race, it was unbelievable. I'm very happy and he was the fastest horse in the race in the final 300-400 metres I think."

On a possible trip to Japan he added: "We are still thinking about Tokyo, but it is very firm over there. I'm not sure, but we will think about it. He will go to the stud farm at the end of the year, this is the last season for him."

Setback for Saffron Beach puts Breeders' Cup trip on hold

Plans for a possible trip to the Breeders' Cup are on hold for Saffron Beach after she scoped dirty following her defeat in defence of her Group One Royal Bahrain Sun Chariot crown at Newmarket on Saturday.

The Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained daughter of New Bay has been in excellent heart this season, winning both the Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot and following up with her second top-level success in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville in August.

Subsequently runner-up to Pearls Galore in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, she was made favourite to retain her Sun Chariot title on the Rowley Mile.

Saffron Beach and William Buick on their way to winning the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot
Image: Saffron Beach and William Buick on their way to winning the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot

However, William Buick's mount was under pressure from two furlongs out and she finished eighth of nine to Fonteyn, beaten over 16 lengths.

Chapple-Hyam was initially perplexed by the run and she explained: "It is very unfortunate. We got her back to the yard and we scoped her, because she was sound.

"We thought we had better put a scope down her to see if there was anything going on inside, and she scoped dirty, with mucus. She is on a course of antibiotics.

Saffron Beach won the Group One Sun Chariot Stakes under William Buick in October
Image: Saffron Beach could be set to miss a trip to the USA next month

"It was very similar to when she ran a nothing race in last year's Falmouth Stakes. She looked fine on Saturday and got the 'best-turned-out' award, too.

"The frustrating thing is we scoped her after her last gallop, just to check, and everything was clean and she has showed no signs of coughing. Yet we put the scope down after the race and she had a dirty lung."

Owned by Lucy, Ben and Ollie Sangster in partnership with James Wigan, plans for Saffron Beach to run in the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland next month are now on hold.

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Chapple-Hyam added: "We will regroup and I will see the owners at the Tattersalls Sales later in the week.

"She has a few weeks to recover, but I don't know at this stage how the treatment will go.

"At least we have got an answer, because you can be left not knowing."

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