Epsom Derby Tips: Pyledriver profile

Pyledriver was a surprise winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Pyledriver was a surprise winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Nick Seddon profiles the Epsom Derby contender Pyledriver, who was a surprise winner of a key trial for this race at Royal Ascot last week...

Pyledriver

  • Trainer: William Muir
  • Age: 3
  • Owner: Knox & Wells Limited And R W Devlin
  • Races: 6
  • Wins: 3
  • Notable Race Wins: Ascendant Stakes (2019), King Edward VII Stakes (2020)
  • Stall: 3
  • Jockey: Martin Dwyer

Career Record

Pyledriver is one of the more experienced runners in this year's Derby field, having made six career starts to date, with four of those coming in his juvenile season. A surprise win on debut as a 50/1 outsider at Salisbury last July rather set the tone for his career to date, and he followed that up with a creditable effort to finish fourth in listed company on his second start at Newbury a month later. Pyledriver quickly proved he was a pattern level performer by striking at listed level in the Ascendant Stakes on his next start at Haydock in September, before finishing last of seven behind Royal Dornoch and current Derby second favourite Kameko in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes on his final start as a two-year-old at the end of that month. 

That performance perhaps explained why Pyledriver was an unconsidered 40/1 outsider when lining up for what appeared to be a warm renewal of the Group 3 Classic Trial at Kempton at the beginning of the month, but he impressed with the way he finished strongly from an difficult position to grab second. Pyledriver showed an abundance of tenacity once again at the Royal meeting, when defying expectations for the fourth time in his short career to seal a game success in the King Edward VII Stakes, showing a good turn of foot to hit the front and thwart the challenge of the Aidan O'Brien-trainied Arthur's Kingdom. 

The jumbled up nature of this year's calendar means that this year's King Edward VII Stakes is a Derby trial rather than a consolation race, and while he will once again be fulfilling the moniker of lively outsider, he's more than earned his shot. 

Horse Racing FREE £20 Exchange Bet

New customers only, bet up to £20 on the Exchange and if your first bet loses, we’ll refund you £20 in Cash. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. T&Cs apply. Payment restrictions apply. 18+ Begambleaware.org

Positives

Versatility: Pyledriver is an extremely likeable type, and has already experienced six different tracks during his career. He thrived when tackling Ascot's steep finish last time out, and he ought to handle Epsom's awkward undulations as well as any other runner in the field. 

Proven at the trip: While some of the more fancied runners have questions hanging over them about their stamina, namely Kameko, Pyledriver has winning form over this distance already. Indeed, he also has winning form at both seven furlongs and a mile, so his prominent style should suit if this renewal proves to be a frenetically-run one. 

Experienced partner: Pyledriver will be partnered by the hugely experienced Martin Dwyer, who won the Derby back in 2006 on Sir Percy. Dwyer knows what it takes to win a Derby, and his comments in the aftermath of the Royal meeting certainly suggest that he feels his colt deserves a chance.

Negatives

Another step up: Pyledriver is making a habit of defying expectations, though this year's renewal of the King Edward didn't look the strongest, and this will be his first try at Group 1 level. The Derby is shaping up into a competitive renewal, and although Pyledriver deserves his chance, he will need more.  

Tactics: Pyledriver represents the William Muir yard, which is more than capable of sending out a high-class performer, though the nature of the Derby means that some of the more powerful yards - such as Aidan O'Brien - will undoubtedly send multiple runners. As a result, Pyledriver could prove vulnerable if this turns into a particularly tactical affair.

How will Pyledriver fare in the 2020 Epsom Derby?

It would be folly to write Pyledriver off completely, as he loves nothing more than defying expectations, but it's difficult to see him having a winning chance at Epsom. His performance to win the King Edward VII Stakes was extremely likeable, though it didn't look the strongest of renewals, and he will need more on his first try in Group 1 company. That being said, he has a tremendously game attitude, is proven at the trip and will almost certainly handle the test that Epsom poses. It isn't out of the realms of possibility that he could yet find a little more improvement, and with that in mind, he could well sneak into the places under his experienced rider. 

Verdict: Each-way chance

Tip

Epsom Derby
Pyledriver silk

Pyledriver (EW)

Epsom Derby Odds

£20 Risk Free First Bet Money Back In Cash

New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is €/£20. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets
New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org
Welcome Offer
Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+ begambleaware.org.
Bet £10 & Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £5 Get £20 In Free Bets
Min £5 bet on the SBK. Rewards valid for 7 days. Free bets must be placed at min odds of 1.5. Exchange free bet limited to certain markets. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £30 + 30 Free Spins
You must stake £10 or more at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Free bet balance of £30 credited within 48 hours of your first bet being settled. Free Bets expire after 7 days. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Minimum 5 game rounds. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org
Up to £30 in Free Bets
New Customers deposit and bet up to £30 at odds of 2.0 or greater within 7 days of registration, Cashed out bets excluded. Matched bonus paid in free bets; 7 day expiry. Offer valid from 09:00BST on 26/05/2020. Card payments only. Geo Restrictions and T&Cs. 18+ | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
£25 Bet Bundle
18+. UK Customers (Excluding NI) only. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds ½. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Cashed out bets will not qualify towards your average stake. One free bet offer per customer, household or IP address only. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
Money back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 Casino
New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Racing 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Racing bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.