Mole Board may finally go to ground at the age of 14

The veteran hurdler Mole Board, pulled up behind Cyborgo in the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham, may have run his last race.

The Jim Old-trained 14-year-old, reported to have suffered badly bruised feet at the Festival, may run in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Chepstow on 8 April, if recovering in time. But a failure to make the line-up will result in Wally Sturt's gelding being put out to grass.

"If he doesn't get over his feet quickly we are seriously thinking of retiring him," Old reported yesterday. "Mr Sturt and I are anxious he goes out at the top and there's no way he can be a faster horse next year. Even if he does make the Welsh Champion Hurdle, we won't be training him next year. I doubt if he'll take to retirement, but the last thing I want to see is him slipping down the handicap.

"He's always been rated round the 160 mark, and he can bow out still rated top class, having won a good race at Ascot," the trainer added.

Old and Sturt always believed the Deep Run gelding was capable of winning a Champion Hurdle, a feat they achieved a week ago with Collier Bay. But the best Mole Board could manage was two fourth places in 1991 and 1994.