Hardwicke Stakes
Group 2, Ascot 15:05
£250,000 guaranteed,
4yo plus,
1m 3f 211y, Class 1  
Saturday 24th June 2023


1 Pyledriver 7/2
2 West Wind Blows 13/2
3 Changingoftheguard 7/1
7 ran NR: Hukum Distances: 1¼l, 1l, ½l
Time: 2m 29.60s (fast by 0.10s)

Pyledriver returned with a bang for co-trainers William Muir and Chris Grassick, providing rider P J McDonald with a first Royal Ascot winner in the process.

On his first appearance since winning last year’s G1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes, Pyledriver travelled smoothly into contention and went away from the opposition to score by just over a length.

There was a stewards’ enquiry after Pyledriver edged to his right but the result never looked in doubt. West Wind Blows backed up his Longchamp G3 win last time out to take second, a length in front of Changingoftheguard in third.

Winning co-trainer William Muir said: “I know how much this horse will improve. Yes he rolled around, but he was on fumes. There are loads of people to thank. The lad who looks after him, Pyledriver bit him today and he has got a great big haematoma on his arm, and he said it is "a love bite”.

“Jeta, who rides him, told me after his last piece of work that we were back to where we were before the Sheema Classic. I knew he was a class horse and I knew he would be competitive – he never knows when to chuck it in, but I did think match fitness might catch us out.

“He rolled around in the St Leger, and 'they' said it was Martin Dwyer, he is not a good jockey – I tell you Martin is a great jockey and made this horse what he is today. 

“We will see how he is tonight, tomorrow, the next day – but the King George will be next all being well. This is what we dream to have horses like this. The owners were offered fortunes for him as a three-year-old, and they have been so loyal to the horse.”


McDonald said: “Pyledriver is a horse that when he hits the front, he always runs around. I thought when I came on the outside he'd be okay but, when I gave him a dig one side, he's lugged one way and then the other. It just goes to show how much ability he has that he's not concentrating on running in a straight line. I straightened him up each time, but I think he's a very comfortable winner and I don't think anyone can take it away from him.

"I haven't sat on this horse since last year's King George – the lads just said you keep away, you're better off not complicating things. And what a performance to get this fella back today.

"I think they had him pretty fit. Today was only ever a starting point moving forward to the King George, so to get the win under his belt is a massive bonus. We have a superstar horse, I just need to keep him in a straight line!

"This is Royal Ascot… I'm 41 years of age and I've been coming here a bit, but you need a good horse coming here. There's no point unless you have a good animal – whatever happens now I'm a Royal Ascot winner!”

Ed Crisford said of West Wind Blows: “He ran an absolutely super race. I think there you can say he definitely stays a mile-and-a-half, because there’s always been these question marks, but he kept running true to the line there. I would say that’s his career-best performance and he really showed himself, up against some of the best horses over this trip.

Changingoftheguard’s trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “He ran very well and we are delighted with his run. Where he goes next? We’re not sure. We will see how he is – obviously he is entered in the King George and all those races.”

Cleeve Racing £10 trial

Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)
£250,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 1m 3f 211y, Class 1
7 ran
Going: Good to Firm

1(5)    Pyledriver 6 9-3 William Muir & Chris Grassick P J McDonald 7/2
2 (7)
West Wind Blows 4 9-3 Simon & Ed Crisford Jamie Spencer 13/2
3 (1)
1 Changingoftheguard 4 9-3 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 7/1
4 (3)
½ Deauville Legend 4 9-3 James Ferguson Daniel Muscutt 17/2
5 (8)
nk Free Wind 5 9-0 John & Thady Gosden Frankie Dettori 6/4F
6 (2)
14 Grand Alliance 4 9-3 Charlie Fellowes William Buick 18/1
7 (6) Ardakan 4 9-3 Marco Botti James McDonald 18/1
NR 5 (4) Hukum 6 9-3 Owen Burrows NON RUNNER




2022 2 BROOME A P O'Brien Ryan Moore M Matsushima & Mrs J Magnier & M Tabor & D Smith 6 9-03 6/1
2021 2 WONDERFUL TONIGHT David Menuisier William Buick Christopher Wright 4 8-12 5/1
2020 2 FANNY LOGAN John Gosden Frankie Dettori HH Sheikha Al Jalila Racing 4-8-12 17/2
2019 2 DEFOE Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum 5-9-01 11/4F
2018 2 CRYSTAL OCEAN Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore Sir Evelyn de Rothschild 4-9-01 4/7F
2017 2 IDAHO Aidan O’Brien IRE Seamie Heffernan Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier 4-9-01 9/2
2016 2 DARTMOUTH Sir Michael Stoute Olivier Peslier H M The Queen 4-9-01 10/1
2015 2 SNOW SKY Sir Michael Stoute Pat Smullen Khalid Abdullah 4-9-01 12/1
2014 2 TELESCOPE Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore Highclere Thoroughbred Racing 4-9-01 7/4F
2013 2 THOMAS CHIPPENDALE Lady Cecil Johnny Murtagh Sir Robert Ogden 4-9-00 8/1
2012 2 SEA MOON Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore Khalid Abdullah 4-9-00 3/1F
2011 2 AWAIT THE DAWN Aidan O’Brien IRE Ryan Moore Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier 4-9-00 4/6F
2010 2 HARBINGER Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore Highclere Thoroughbred Racing 4-9-00 8/11F
2009 2 BRONZE CANNON John Gosden Jimmy Fortune Anthony Oppenheimer 4-9-03 8/1
2008 MACARTHUR Aidan O’Brien IRE Johnny Murtagh Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor 4-9-00 11/8F
2007 2 MARAAHEL Sir Michael Stoute Richard Hills Hamdan Al Maktoum 6-9-00 100/30
06/24/06 2 MARAAHEL Sir Michael Stoute Richard Hills Hamdan Al Maktoum 5-9-00 9/2
*05/18/06 2 BANDARI Mark Johnston Willie Supple Hamdan Al Maktoum 6-8-09 10/1
04/19/06 2 DOYEN Saeed bin Suroor Frankie Dettori Godolphin 4-8-09 6/5F
03/21/06 2 INDIAN CREEK David Elsworth Richard Quinn Seymour Cohn 5-8-09 14/1
02/22/06 2 ZINDABAD Mark Johnston Kevin Darley Abdulla Buhaleeba 6-8-12 4/1
01/22/06 2 SANDMASON Henry Cecil Willie Ryan Plantation Stud 4-8-09 12/1
00/23/06 2 FRUITS OF LOVE Mark Johnston Olivier Peslier Mick Doyle 4-8-12 9/2
99/18/06 2 FRUITS OF LOVE Mark Johnston Olivier Peslier Mick Doyle 4-8-12 12/1
98/19/06 2 POSIDONAS Paul Cole Pat Eddery Athos Christodoulou 6-8-09 15/2
97/20/06 2 PREDAPPIO Saeed bin Suroor Gary Stevens Godolphin 4-8-12 6/1
96/21/06 2 OSCAR SCHINDLER Kevin Prendergast IRE Michael Kinane Oliver Lehane 4-8-09 7/4F
95/23/06 2 BEAUCHAMP HERO John Dunlop John Reid Erik Penser 5-8-09 11/2
94/17/06 2 BOBZAO Terry Mills John Reid Terry Mills 5-8-09 11/1
93/18/06 2 JEUNE Geoff Wragg Ray Cochrane Exors of late Sir Robin McAlpine 4-8-09 7/2
92/19/06 2 ROCK HOPPER Michael Stoute Pat Eddery Maktoum Al Maktoum 5-8-12 8/15F
91/21/06 2 ROCK HOPPER Michael Stoute Pat Eddery Maktoum Al Maktoum 4-8-12 5/6F
90/22/06 2 ASSATIS Guy Harwood Ray Cochrane S Harada 5-9-00 50/1
89/23/06 2 ASSATIS Guy Harwood Pat Eddery Khalid Abdullah 4-8-09 4/11F
88/17/06 2 ALMAARAD John Dunlop Willie Carson Hamdan Al Maktoum 5-8-12 6/1
87/19/06 2 ORBAN Henry Cecil Steve Cauthen Prince A A Faisal 4-8-09 11/4
86/20/06 2 DIHISTAN Michael Stoute Pat Eddery H H Aga Khan 4-8-09 11/2
85/21/06 2 JUPITER ISLAND Clive Brittain Lester Piggott The Marquess of Tavistock 6-8-09 85/40
84/22/06 2 KHAIRPOUR Fulke Johnson Houghton Steve Cauthen G J Chittick 5-8-12 13/2
83/17/06 2 STANERRA Frank Dunne IRE Brian Rouse Frank Dunne 5-8-09 4/1
82/18/06 2 CRITIQUE Henry Cecil Lester Piggott Garo Vanlan 4-8-09 7/2
81/19/06 2 PELERIN Harry Wragg Brian Taylor Sir Phillip Oppenheimer 4-8-12 7/1
80/20/062 SCORPIO Francois Boutin FR Philippe Paquet Gerry Oldham 4-9-00 2/1F
79/22/06 2 OBRAZTSOVY Ryan Price Brian Taylor Robert Sangster 4-8-09 9/4F
78/23/06 2 MONTCONTOUR Maurice Zilber FR Yves Saint-Martin Mrs H H Hausmann 4-8-12 25/1
77/17/06 2 MENEVAL Vincent O’Brien IRE Lester Piggott Mrs George F Getty II 4-9-00 2/1F
*run at York