Horse Racing

Porter Floors ‘I still hold the position of king of those who stay

CHELTENHAM, UK – Depending on your preference, Thursday at Cheltenham is either Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle day or Ryanair Chase day but both ways, on St Patrick’s Day, each Irish-sponsored co-feature race both create a consistent winner of Ireland.

The main difference for the 12 months is that the owners of Flooring Porter (Ire) (Yeats {Ire}) and Allaho (Fr) (No Risk At All {Fr}) are allowed to directly celebrate. And celebrate they did. The huge entourage of black and white fur accompanying The Stayers’ Hurdle Flooring Porter double-winner made the most of every second of their tough pony’s fiery victory, making scenes in The victor’s siege resembles a yard invasion as the winner jockey Danny Mullins is carried on the shoulders of the owners.

It’s hard for them to share their joy and amazement at the seven-year-old’s mainstay success, who was handed over to coach Gavin Cromwell four years ago after failing to hit a reserve of 6,000 euros at the door. row. sales. He has now won £462,000 in prize money and, given his winning form, is clearly still rife with efforts.

What he lacks in stature – and he’s easily the smallest and smallest in the 10-run field – Flooring Porter makes up for at heart, with a running style that knocks out his opponents and says ‘catch’ me if you can’ . Capturing him, they were unable, although the previous favorite conqueror and Flooring Porter, Klassical Dream (Fr) (Dream Well {Fr}), appeared ominously while freely descending the hill below. the feet of a motionless Paul Townend. But Danny Mullins was sitting on a partner with deeper reserves, and as the Flooring Porter challengers lined up behind him, he flew the final hurdle to land on a spring heel and find a gear get another to push him back to the hill home. With Klassical Dream gone, Thyme Hill (GB) (Kayf Tara {GB) finished second, with 2019 winner Paisley Park (Ire) (Oscar {Ire}) just behind him in third place. .

“For these races, you plan A to Z, but I never go out of plan A, and that rarely happens,” said smiling Mullins, with whom Tony’s father was split. shared about the limelight in recent years as the Princess trainer. Zoe (Ger).

“Champions races are all there is to it. Its most special thing today is the response from the owners. They weren’t here last year to enjoy it and it was very special to them. It’s great to hear guys like it so much, and it shows it can be done with an organization. You don’t have to be in the elite to win at Cheltenham, and that’s the magic of jump racing. ”

The group of four friends that make up the Flooring Porter Syndicate bought the horse after spotting an ad on Facebook, and they include Ned Hogarty, who owns a flooring business in Galway. He said, “It shows you don’t have to be a sheikh to win Grade 1! We come here full of hope. Yesterday’s rain may not have worked to our full potential, but it worked. We all need this at home. It’s been a strange time over the past few years and it’s been a mental boost. “

Hogarty added, “If someone told me we wouldn’t win again [since the last Festival] Until now I didn’t believe them. The horse is for it, we are for it, the parish is for it, and the country is for it. Hopefully we can all celebrate and have a few pints on Paddy’s Day. Those are the memories we will have forever. ”

A key figure responsible for helping create those memories is Cromwell, the former player who took Cheltenham by storm three years ago when he helped Espoir d’Allen (Fr) win the Hurdle Championship. Sadly, the 5-year-old was never seen on the racecourse again after suffering a fatal accident during training a few months later. But Cromwell returned from that tragedy with a horse whose oddities had been carefully managed but with ample stamina and strength. In other words, between Flooring Porter’s two Cheltenham victories, the versatile coach also had a 2-year difference in victory at Royal Ascot with Quick Suzy (Ire) (Profitable {Ire}).

Cromwell said: “I was worried he was going to finish a spin but Danny kept his cool and he knew what he was doing – he knew what he had underneath him.

“Danny is so good with these leads, he seems to have a serious clock in his head. It’s there for everyone to see and the Flooring Porter isn’t straight, he just goes with him right away and he’s just a proper horseman. “

He added, “The crowds here are just magic. It’s great to be here that Espoir d’Allen has won the Champion Hurdle but we come here as an outsider and he was not expected to be. Came here today, we had one of our favorites and we imagined him. It all worked out, so it was awesome. ”

Allaho All Classes

It wouldn’t be Cheltenham Festival, or St Patrick’s Day, without a winner for Willie Mullins but the coach had to undergo a reversal of heart in the opening contest, the Newbies’ Race G1, when Galopin Des Champs (Fr) (Timos {Ger}) fell last after a great gallop and jump put him in a seemingly impossible position. While he lay struggling on the landing side of the final fence, Bob Olinger (Ire) (Sholokhov {Ire}) trained by Henry de Bromhead galloped past him, having to be urged up by Rachael Blackmore. hill for what looked like unlikely to win for so many contests.

With the benevolent Galopin Des Champs taking only the wind and returning sound to the secluded area, it wasn’t long before his trainer and jockey Paul Townend returned to the front, with Allaho majestically commanding. defend his crown and lead Mullins to a one-of-a-kind home. Ryanair Chase.

“It makes you wonder why I didn’t pick him last year, right?” Said Townend, who chose Allaho’s stable mate Min (Fr) in 2021, for Rachael Blackmore to land the spoils. “He galloped and jumped. He’s really, really good. We spent some time getting to know him and I think we got there. It’s what he loves to do and he’s built for it, look at his size. I am so happy.”

Mullins, now with five winners at Cheltenham this week, said of Allaho, “He jumped from fence to fence and went down to the last one as if it weren’t there, and that’s the sign of a champion. I am a worried waste. The horse did everything right for Paul then to the last thing where I thought ‘we’re starting again’, but it got through it and jumped really well. Paul has nerves of steel and I’m glad he’s on our side.”

The Thompson family of Cheveley Park Stud were the top owners at last year’s Festival with three winners, and two of them, Sir Gerhard (Ire) (Jeremy) and Allaho, now stepping back into 2022. on the last day, they also had a big chance in the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup with A Plus Tard (Fr) (Kapgarde {Fr}) who finished second behind stable teammate Minella Indo (Ire) (Beat Hollow {GB }) 12 months ago and now favorites to get better on Fridays.

Although the colors of the Cheveley Park Stud take on the patriotic reds, whites and blues of England, where the Thompsons Flats were bred and trained, the late David Thompson chose to place his chosen National Hunt chain. in Ireland, and he was well rewarded for the investment he made. Cheveley Park Stud has now been represented by nine Cheltenham Festival winners.

I fight back

Despite the English coaches’ rather lackluster performance at last year’s Festival, the title was more even this time, as Ireland led England with 11 winners and 10 advanced on the final day. Thursday’s three Grade 1 competitions all took place in the Irish stables but the rest of the day’s races fell on the stables in England and Wales.

Love Envoi (Ire) (Westerners {Ire}) coached by Harry Fry remained undefeated winning G2 Ryanair Mares ‘Novices’ Hurdle to give rider Jonathan Burke his first win of the Festival. Versatility trainer Hughie Morrison was rewarded with his first Cheltenham winner since Frenchman’s Creek (GB) in 2o02 when third-breed Hamilton-Fairley rat Wind (GB) (Shirocco {Ger}) held foot Alaphilippe (Ire) (Morozov) narrowly ended the G3 Pertemps final, while expert Cheltenham Coole Cody (Ire) (Dubai Destination) landed the G3 Craft Irish Whiskey Plate for Evan Williams of Wales.

With the same name as Williams, the unrelated Venetia Williams scored her second win at this year’s Festival as Chambard (Fr) (Gris De Gris {Fr}) surprised on Thursday’s final to take the Challenge Cup. Formula Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir in the hand of Lucy Turner with odds of 40/1.

The castle tip must have been moved to before TDN Emmanuel Roussel, the Parisian restaurateur, who was absent from Cheltenham for the first time in years but was honored to co-produce Chambard with André Cyprès and Antoine-Audoin Maggiar. Roussel, who also named the 10-year-old boy, explained that Chambard loosely translates to “a noisy mess”. So his win was a pretty fitting way to bring the curtain down on the penultimate day of the Festival, when a record crowd of 73,754 people left Prestbury Park in various drunken states to regroup for a Last hurdle on Gold Cup day.

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