TWO-TIME Champion Hurdle winner Sea Pigeon is widely regarded as one of the most popular and talented dual purpose performers to have raced with wins in some of the most prestigious races on the Flat and over hurdles.
By Sea-Bird out of Around The Roses, Sea Pigeon was bred and initially raced by prominent US owner Jock Whitney with his runs on the Flat including an appearance in the 1973 Derby.
However, he was gelded and sold later that year to Pat Muldoon after developing temperament issues and sent first to trainer Gordon Richards and then Peter Easterby.
It was with Easterby that Sea Pigeon flourished into the talented, gusty and lovable character with many fondly remembering his fast-finishing hold-up style and clashes with Birds Nest, Night Nurse and Monksfield in a golden era for 2m hurdlers.
He won the first of his big Flat handicaps in the 1977 Chester Cup, which he won again a year later, having finished fourth in the Champion Hurdle. He added a third major Flat handicap when carrying a record 10st to victory in the 1979 Ebor under his regular jumps rider Jonjo O'Neill, who after sweeping through to lead stopped riding on his notoriously idle partner eventually holding on by just a short-head from Donegal Prince.
After finishing second to Monksfield in both the 1978 and '79 Champion Hurdles, Sea Pigeon finally gained his moment of glory when turning the tables on old foe Monksfield in 1980.
Sea Pigeon went on to gain his second Champion Hurdle the following year as an 11-year-old under a super-cool ride by John Francome, replacing the injured O'Neill, completing a season that had also brought him a second successive win the in Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
Sea Pigeon was retired shortly before the 1982 Cheltenham Festival and was put down aged 30 in 2000 after damaging a pedal bone and buried next to Night Nurse at Easterby's stable.
In total, Sea Pigeon raced 85 times winning 37 of them. He raced once over fences when falling in the Colonial Cup in the US in 1977.