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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

THE STORYTELLER SUFFERS INJURY WHILE PYLEDRIVER BOUNCES BACK

By HRI Foreign Staff — In a disappointing turn of events, Gordon Elliot has revealed that The Storyteller – past winner of the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champions Chase – has been injured. The 11-time victor has earnings in excess of £400,000 after delivering some impressive on-track performances during his long and storied career.

The now 10-year-old is reported to have fractured his pedal bone. While the injury is not thought to be life-threatening (nor career-ending), the august performer will nonetheless be forced to have some time on the sidelines.

A yard favourite out of action

According to Elliot, who’s recently returned to racing after a six-month ban, Storyteller is much loved at home, being a yard favourite. Vivacious, plucky, and mischievous, the gelding is known to be something of a clown and is ever ready to put a smile on his handlers’ faces.

His trainer revealed he’d suffered his injury while pulling up in the Kerry Group Chase at Listowel. Thankfully, the fracture shouldn’t cause him any issues in the long term, although it will mean he’s out of action for the foreseeable.   

When asked how long the handsome chestnut will be side-lined for, Elliot revealed that “several months” seems likely.

Pyledriver back in work

In more heartening news, Pyledriver has recently returned to full work. The four-year-old colt, who previously suffered an injury of his own, is being readied for the final Group 1 of the year, which will be held in Munich on November 7th.  

Pyledriver is trained by William Muir, who successfully campaigned him to victory in the Coronation Cup. While there were high hopes for the colt’s continued success, he had to have time out due to a pulled muscle and ongoing tenderness.  

Sadly, this meant Pyledriver was unable to compete in either the King George at Ascot or the Juddmonte International at York. He will now be aimed at the Grosser Preis von Bayern instead. While his performance during training is said to be promising, Pyledriver will face stiff competition. The last British-trained winner of the Munich-based race was Campanologist back in 2010.   

Despite the odds being stacked against him, Muir is confident the colt stands a chance of winning, saying he’s back in full work, fresh, and jumping out of his skin. Describing his current health as “100 percent”, he explained discussions would take place within the next fortnight to decide on his winter campaign.  

Pyledriver’s inability to compete in the King George was a real blow to the trainer, who said the race had been on the cards ever since the colt’s Coronation Cup success. Although horse racing betting site bet365 gave him odds of 999/1, Muir was confident his runner was in with a real shot at victory.

Instead, Pyledriver will now be aimed at the German contest, before potentially looking at international races including Hong Kong and the Sheema Classic. While Muir says he won’t be ready in time for the Arc, it seems he nonetheless has an exciting season ahead of him.

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