Following his fall in the Christmas Hurdle, Punjabi has been patched up and is now a likely runner in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton in February as his final preparation for the Champion Hurdle. Punjabi, who won the Fighting Fifth in gritty style was expected to follow up in the Christmas Hurdle and thus complete the second leg of the 1m WBX Triple Crown, but he got the second last wrong when well poised to win.
The race was won in the end for the second time by old timer Harchibald, who proved too strong for runner up Snap Tie, an early season conqueror of Champion Hurdler, Katchit. Blue Bajan ran a good race to finish third.
The current betting still has Binocular as distinct favourite at 6/4, while stable mate, Punjabi has drifted to 16/1. Harchibald has been given a 20/1 quote, as has Snap Tie for the Champion Hurdle.
In the meantime, Sublimity, 2007 Champion Hurdler, came back to something like his best when winning the December Hurdle at Leopardstown on 29th December. He finished very strongly to beat off the challenge by Won In The Dark. Brave Inca, also a former winner of the Champion Hurdle proved to be not good enough and came in third. The two disappointments of the race was the form of Sizing Europe, who challenged briefly but faded badly when under pressure, also Hardy Eustace failed to maintain his early season form and did not feature. Sublimity has now been made third favourite at around the 12/1 mark and he could be well worth an each way punt in the antepost market.