Punjabi Creates Big Hopes for Connections
Nicky Henderson is confident that one of his horses, Punjabi, could just be the horse to look out for during the running of the WBX Triple Crown. Not only do each of the three racing events that make up the WBX Triple Crown boast great purses to look forward to, but if a horse should win the Fighting Fifth jumps racing event, the Christmas Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle, there is a very lucrative bonus in store for the horse and its connections. At the moment Henderson is focusing on the Fighting Fifth, which brings him one step closer to the £1million bonus.
With Henderson having entries at racing events at Newcastle and Newbury, jockey Barry Geraghty had to decide which horse he wanted to ride. Seven of Henderson’s horses will be competing at Newbury, including the spectacular Oedipe who has been entered into the Hennesy Cognac Gold Cup, but Geraghty chose to go with the sole entry at Newcastle, namely Punjabi. Barry Geraghty rode Punjabi previously at Cheltenham, and by the time they hit Punchtown they proved to be a magnificent combination, so it is not surprising that he would opt for Punjabi, a horse that he knows extremely well. Both Henderson and Geraghty feel that Punjabi has a much better chance at performing superbly during the WBX Triple Crown and in any of the three legs of the series, may it be the upcoming Fighting Fifth on Saturday, or one of the other two jumps racing events. Punjabi will go into this weekend’s race much more prepared and better rested than the last time he was seen at the Christmas Hurdle, and it a believed by Henderson and Punjabi’s connections that this is their chance at glory, and of course that lucrative bonus.
Even though the Cheltenham Festival is a few months away, many trainers are already starting to prepare their horses for the big event. Choosing the right races and working out resting periods between races, is all in preparation for what is seen as one of the biggest events in jumps racing. But for now, Henderson is only concentrating on one race at a time when it comes to Punjabi, with only the Fighting Fifth on his mind.