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punjabi wins the Champion Hurdle Cheltenham 09

Punjabi (centre) denies Celestial Halo (right) and Binocular to take the Champion Hurdle



Thrilling Champion win for grandson of Nureyev

Tuesday: Cheltenham; Champion Hurdle (G1)

PUNJABI (6 g Komaite - Competa)

WITH only a minor 7f win as a four-year-old to his name, Komaite had no choice but to make it the hard way when he retired to Fairfields Stud in 1990 at a fee of £1,500.

But he owned a pedigree out of the top drawer as a Nureyev half-brother to the Group/Grade 1 winners Monseigneur, Unconscious and Avatar, and he duly proved to be a useful sire from limited opportunities until his death in 2004.

Komaite's best progeny range from the flying fillies Proud Boast and Castelletto, who was best as a two-year-old, to the classy 1m2f performer Katy Nowaitee.

Now, thanks to Punjabi's gutsy success in the Champion Hurdle, his resume also includes a top-class hurdler.

Punjabi, who was conceived when Komaite stood at Throckmorton Court Stud for £2,500, is a brother to 5f juvenile winner Kompete. Both were bred by Captain Jim Wilson, who campaigned Punjabi to win three races over 1m on the Flat before selling him to Highflyer Bloodstock for 42,000gns at the 2006 Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale.

It is likely that Punjabi inherit's his staying power from damsire Hernando, a 1m4f specialist who has sired several classy jumpers to complement a good record with middle-distance runners on the Flat.

Although Punjabi's immediate family does not contain many notable performers, his fourth dam is the 1975 Oaks runner-up Val's Girl, ancestress of the Deutsches Derby second Calcavecchia.

The unraced Competa has an unnamed two-year-old filly by Olden Times and a yearling filly by Iceman.






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