To mark Jim Old turning 74, today’s Cheltenham rewind focuses on one of his biggest career successes – with Collier Bay in the 1996 Champion Hurdle.
The six-year-old had snatched Grade 1 victory two months earlier at Leopardstown, when rallying in the last 50 yards to win by a head in the Irish Champion Hurdle.
The gelding went off as a 9/1 shot for the two-mile contest, with the previous season’s winner Alderbrook holding odds-on favouritism for Kim Bailey.
Collier Bay was in the leading group throughout the contest, with Graham Bradley kicking his mount on heading around the home bend.
He cleared away from his rivals approaching two out and he kept storming down the home straight.
Alderbrook attempted to reel in his rival in the closing stages, but his challenge came too late as Collier Bay ran on to claim success by two and a half lengths.
The gelding returned a season later in hope of defending his title, but he would be pulled up before three out.