30 December 2020

Porter likely to head straight to Cheltenham

30 December 2020

Gavin Cromwell’s new Grade One star Flooring Porter is likely to head straight for the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham – but a run beforehand has not yet been completely ruled out.

Cromwell will consider the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran and the Boyne Hurdle at Navan should he have a change of heart and decide another race is needed before the Cheltenham Festival.

Flooring Porter is owned by a syndicate of the same name, whose members had to fork out the supplementary fee to discover their pride and joy was well up to the highest level in the Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle on Monday.

“It was great – it was a gamble supplementing him, but thankfully it paid off, and he was very good,” said Cromwell.

“He’s got a very big engine, and I was delighted. Jonny (Moore) was great on him – I was a bit concerned he’d gone off too hard, but he’d saved plenty.

“The Stayers’ Hurdle is his target now. There’s a very small chance he could go for the Galmoy Hurdle or maybe the Boyne Hurdle, but I’d say they are unlikely, and we might just go straight to Cheltenham.”

Stablemate Darver Star returned to something like his best form at Leopardstown when second to Franco De Port in Saturday’s Racing Post Novice Chase, having disappointed on his previous outing.

“It was a funny sort of race and if Jonny was to ride it again, he might do it a bit different,” said Cromwell

“But still, I was delighted with him, really.

“He had a little wind op after he disappointed before, but I think the ground was a bigger issue. Come the spring, we’d hope he’ll be more at home.”

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