Collier Bay not certain


JIM OLD is far from certain to send Saturday's impressive Sandown winner Collier Bay for the 10th Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown next Saturday despite the gelding holding a major chance off 10st 12lb.

Speaking from his Wroughton base yesterday, the trainer said: "The horse has come out of yesterday's race fine, but I wouldn't say he is a certain runner at the moment. We will have to look at how he is in the middle of next week before committing him for the race."

Collier Bay ran out a most impressive 25 to 1 winner of the Bonusprint Limited Handicap Hurdle under Graham Bradley.

And in defying the added penalty of running from 8lb out of the handicap, Old's six-year-old had major bookmakers running for cover - slashing his odds for the Ladbroke from 16 to 1 down to 4 to 1 favourite.

Asked whether he expected such a bold showing from his hurdler yesterday - Mole Board, at 6 to 1, had appeared the better fancied of his pair in the race yesterday - Old responded: "I don't make the prices do I? If you had asked me a fortnight ago, I would have thought he could have won the race impressively, but after the freeze-up, I thought he was only 75 per cent fit."

"I think there is every chance he will run next in the AIG Irish Champion Hurdle on January 21st - I have always thought he is that good."

Meanwhile, Bramblehill Buck, who is blinkered for the first time in the Dave Freeeman Memorial Handicap Chase, looks the bet of the day at Lingfield.