Flooring Porter retains Stayers’ Hurdle title

Cheltenham wrap 2022

Flooring Porter (6/1 2023 Stayers’ Hurdle) edged past Paisley Park to retain his title in the Stayers’ Hurdle on day three of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.

The feature race of the day has a highly competitive field but Danny Mullins rode a beautiful race to land a second consecutive Stayers’ for Gavin Cromwell.

Thyme Hill finished just over two lengths back with 2019 winner Paisley Park in third.

Klassical Dream, who beat Flooring Porter in the Dornan Hurdle over Christmas, could only finish fifth.

Earlier on, Allaho also celebrated for the second straight year as he came home strongly to win the Ryanair Chase.

Last year, he romped home to victory by 12 lengths, and this year he went two better to become only the second horse to win the Grade One contest twice.

The odds-on favourite – ridden by Paul Townend – finished ahead of Janidil with Eldorado Allen third.

It was a mixed day for Townend who was one hurdle away from winning the Turners’ Novices Chase aboard Galopin Des Champs.

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In a four-horse field, it looked like a straight shootout between the Mullins-trained six-year-old and Henry De Bromhead’s Bob Olinger.

The former began to pull away but stumbled and fell at the last leaving Rachael Blackmore to coast Bob Olinger home unchallenged.

Mullins said: “He’s fine. The reins just got caught around his leg and he panicked a little bit and it took a while to get it all sorted. I think Paul is probably sorer than the horse is.

“It’s disappointing, but we have a sound jockey and a sound horse and we live to fight another day.”

Elsewhere, the Grade Two Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle was won by 15/2 shout Love Envoi, finishing a length-and-a-quarter clear of Ahorsewithnoname.

The other three races saw surprise results – Third Wind pipped joint ante-post favourite Alaphilippe in the Grade Three Handicap Hurdle.

Coole Cody, a 22/1 shout, won the Handicap Chase while 40/1 contender Chambard won the Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

The final day of Cheltenham on Friday is headlined as ever by the Gold Cup with Galvin heading the betting at 7/2, though Henry De Bromhead’s pair of A Plus Tard (4/1) and Minella Indo (5/1) are also in contention.

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