Racing: Collier seeks soft Flat option

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The Independent Online
The deposed champion hurdler, Collier Bay, could make a surprise appearance on the Flat at Haydock on Saturday.

Jim Old yesterday entered the seven-year-old in the pounds 12,150 conditions stakes at the track and said he may have to run the gelding as he has been unable to find suitably soft ground over hurdles.

"They say the going is soft at Haydock but we'll have to see, because that is 'Flat' soft which might be good to firm over jumps," the trainer said. "Obviously I would rather run him in the Welsh Champion Hurdle or at Liverpool but this could be his one chance to get soft ground so he might go.

"Unfortunately this comes two days before Chepstow and a week before Liverpool."

Collier Bay was pulled up when second favourite for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham a fortnight ago, having run just once in the build-up to the defence of the crown he won in 1996.

But Old stressed: "The horse is fine. He has got more brains than his trainer because he wasn't prepared to stretch himself on that ground so he pulled himself up."