‘We had a hopeless task’ – Martin Dwyer rues Derby luck on Pyledriver

Horse Racing Martin Dwyer jockey
Martin Dwyer, whose Derby mount Pyledriver suffered interference. Photo: Racing and Sports

By Jon Lees

GB: Pyledriver was the victim of early interference at Epsom on Saturday which left him with a hopeless task of trying to win the Investec Derby, according to his jockey Martin Dwyer.

Dwyer, who won the Derby in 2006 on Sir Percy, went into Saturday’s Classic believing he had a strong chance of adding a second success with the Royal Ascot winner trained by his father-in-law William Muir.

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But from a stall three draw, the colt got caught in scrimmaging as the field crossed from the far rail to the inner after about two furlongs and was shuffled back to the rear, from which he made only limited headway to finish 11th, nearly 15 lengths behind runaway winner Serpentine.

“It was a messy race,” said Dwyer. “You can see why it’s hard to win from a low draw because you either have to boot up to the front and use a lot of petrol or you need a lot of luck.

“Early on I had a decent position, I was where I wanted to be in the midfield behind Ryan [Moore on Mogul] with Frankie [Dettori on English King] on my inside. 

“But then I just got hampered badly and it knocked me back through the field and that was my race over pretty much from there. I was right at the back of the field with too much ground to make up and that was my race gone. It was very frustrating but that can happen in a Derby, especially if there is a full field.”

Horse Racing Pyledriver Royal Ascot King Edward VII Stakes
Pyledriver (Martin Dwyer): Royal Ascot winner could finish only 11th at Epsom.
Photo: Racenews

Dwyer went on: “It was bizarre because the two went off in front and the whole group of us were all on top of each other, and when the field switches over there are horses four or five deep that don’t want to be there so all the pressure comes onto you on the inside. I got hampered, lost my position and that was it. From where I was then it was just a hopeless task.

“I could never get into it from there,” he added. “It was frustrating because the horse never got a chance to show what he could do. There will be good races in him going forward but that’s one of those things that can happen.”

Serpentine, one of six Aidan O’Brien runners, made virtually all the running under Derby debutant Emmet McNamara and poached too much of a lead for the rest of the field to make up as he won by 5½ lengths.

Horse Racing Emmet McNamara Serpentine Epsom Investec Derby
Emmet McNamara after his win on Serpentine in the Investec Derby at Epsom. Photo: Racenews

Assessing the result, Dwyer said: “The winner must be a good horse the way he did it. It was a bizarre race. It seemed like some people were riding conservatively because they weren’t sure their horses would get a mile and a half. The winner went pretty quick and just kept going.

“Where Frankie was, and I was, was hopeless, but it was a bit like being stuck behind articulated lorries on the motorway with a Ferrari at the front that keeps getting away from you. It was a funny race.”

Dwyer said Pyledriver was likely to be given a break having run three times this season.

“I think William is going to let the horse chill out, give him a little break, and have a look at the second half of the season,” he said. “He was talking about a race in France and I suppose the St Leger could be a possibility but I think a mile and a half is probably his best trip.

“There will be other days but you never got a chance to see what he is capable of. Things didn’t go our way.”

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