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BHA study Fallon reports

The British Horseracing Authority is likely to issue a statement today about an alleged incident at Lingfield on Saturday in which Kieren Fallon — currently in Dubai — was reportedly punched after finishing unplaced in a race by David Reynolds, owner of one of the other horses in the race.

Reynolds, who was subsequently thrown off the track, could face charges which may result in a heavy fine or his being warned off. “We have now received all the reports we needed,” said BHA spokesman Paul Struthers yesterday, “and will be holding an enquiry. Which charges will be brought will probably not be firmed up until later in the week.”

Meanwhile, Punjabi will bid to rebuild his slightly tarnished reputation in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival.

Nicky Henderson's seven-year-old went into Cheltenham as the defending champion hurdler and hopes were high he could retain his crown after a confidence-boosting win at Kempton three weeks previously.

But after racing fairly prominently in the early stages, he dropped away tamely in the final half mile to finish ninth of the 12 runners.

Having won at Punchestown in 2007 and 2008 — he was also beaten a short head in this race last year — Punjabi may be sent over fences if he disappoints again.

“He'll go to Ireland again for the Rabobank,” confirmed Tony Stafford, racing manager to Punjabi's owner Raymond Tooth.

“Barry Geraghty said he was beaten three out, which was disappointing considering how everyone was expecting him to run. He was pretty much the first one of the fancied horses beaten.

“He's excused one bad run. That is the first time, apart from when he fell, that he has not been in the first four over hurdles.

“I think what you have to say is that in a championship race of any kind if you are just slightly off your game you won't win — look at the Gold Cup and Kauto Star.

“We haven't discussed chasing yet with Nicky but it is an option, especially if he doesn't show he is still bang up with them in Ireland.”

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