No treble joy for brave Flooring Porter
Flooring Porter has failed in his bid to win the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham for a sensational third time in a row.
Owned by a local syndicate with members from South Roscommon and East Galway, Flooring Porter won the Stayers' Hurdle for the past two years - but his hopes of a treble were extinguished as the Gordon Elliott-trained Sire Du Berlais claimed victory at Prestbury Park today (Thursday).
Despite being the front runner for the vast majority of the race, Flooring Porter had to settle for fourth place in the end.
Flooring Porter's preparations for the race were hampered by an injury during the build-up, but the horse still made it to the start line and made a bold bid for another memorable success.
The horse has brought great celebrations to his local owners and connections over the past few years and, in that light, there is unlikely to be much disappointment in the camp over the way today's race panned out.
Trained by Gavin Cromwell and ridden by Danny Mullins, Flooring Porter took the lead in the Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle early on and increased his advantage as the race progressed. This is Flooring Porter's usual approach but on this occasion the other challengers reeled him in as the last few fences approached.
A late burst from Sire Du Berlais was enough to clinch victory, with Dashel Drasher finishing second and Teahupoo (the 9/4 favourite) third.
Flooring Porter's starting price had been cut to 9/2 which was also the price of Blazing Khal (who finished sixth).