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CHELTENHAM REWIND | Collier Bay and Jim Old record success in the 1996 Champion Hurdle

Jim Old’s 74th Birthday, we take a look back at his biggest Cheltenham success with Collier Bay in the 1996 Champion Hurdle



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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.

watch: collier bay wins the 1996 champion hurdle [credit: youtube]

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.

Jim Old landed Grade 1 success at the Cheltenham Festival with Collier Bay

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.

Reece Charlton is a Content Writer at Low6 that specializes in horse racing. He is an avid hunter of value in the racing world, picking out longshots six days a week across the National Hunt and Flat cards on offer across the UK and Ireland. He keeps punters and race fans in the know with his racing expertise with previews and value picks for all the big cards and meetings.