Horse bought cheaply from Facebook advert wins Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival for a second time

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  • Flooring Porter has etched his name in the Cheltenham Festival history books after winning his second Stayers’ Hurdle title. The seven-year-old, ridden by Danny Mullins and trained in Ireland by Gavin Cromwell, won by two-and-three-quarter lengths, leading a competitive field from start to finish.

    “I never saw the other horses, but I could hear them – everything went to plan,” said Danny. “Big credit to Gavin Cromwell – I love this horse, but he’s quirky and the way Gavin trains him is the reason we’re back here again. Gavin brought him over here [from Ireland] on Saturday to help this horse settle as he can be quite sparky.”

    Gavin said: “Danny gave Flooring Porter a very cool ride – he made the running as we hoped to, jumped the third last and then filled him up and it was easy really.”

    The syndicate behind Flooring Porter is made up of Ned Hogarty, who owns a flooring business in Galway, while the other members of the syndicate own a pub (and another word for beer in Ireland is ‘porter’), hence this horse’s name. They paid just €10,000 (£8,553) for the gelding four years ago after seeing a Facebook advert.

    “This is a day we’ll never forget – whole parish is here; neighbours and friends. Thanks to Gavin and Danny,” said Ned, whose fellow Flooring Porter supporters lit up the racecourse with their support.

    It was tight for second place, but in the end, Thyme Hill finished second under Tom O’Brien for trainer Philip Hobbs, while previous winner of this race Paisley Park finished in third under Aidan Coleman for trainer Emma Lavelle.

    The Cheltenham Stayers’ Hurdle is a Grade One National Hunt hurdle race, run over three miles with 12 flights of hurdles to jump. The race is held on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival in March, which runs from Tuesday-Friday, and is a massive highlight of the National Hunt season.

    When is the 2022 Stayers’ Hurdle?

    The race got underway at 3.30pm on Thursday 17 March.

    How to watch the race

    If you’re looking forward to settling down the watch the race from home at 3.30pm on Thursday 17 March, then don’t miss our armchair viewing guide, which includes how to watch the Stayers’ Hurdle on TV and much more.

    What is the prize money for winning?

    The winner of the 2022 Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle will take home £182,877.50.

    Who were the runners in the 2022 race?

    Horse: Flooring Porter | Jockey: Danny Mullins
    Trainer: Gavin Cromwell

    Klassical Dream | Jockey: Paul Townend
    Willie Mullins

    Thyme Hill |Jockey: Tom O’Brien
    Philip Hobbs

    Champ | Jockey: Jonjo O’Neill Jr
    Nicky Henderson

    Paisley Park | Jockey: Aidan Coleman
    Emma Lavelle

    Royal Kahala | Jockey: Kevin Sexton
    Peter Fahey

    Lisnagar Oscar | Jockey: Adam Wedge
    Rebecca Curtis

    Home By The Lee | Jockey: J J Slevin
    Joseph Patrick O’Brien

    Song for Someone | Jockey: Nico de Boinville
    Tom Symonds

    Koshari | Jockey: Jonathan Moore
    D M Christie

    Recent winners

    2020: Flooring Porter
    2021: Flooring Porter – read the race report
    2020: Lisnagar Oscar – read the race report
    2019: Paisley Park – read the race report
    2018: Penhill – read the race report
    2017: Nichols Canyon – read the race report
    2016: Thistlecrack – read the race report
    2015: Cole Harden – read the race report
    2014: More Of That – read the race report
    2013: Solwhit – read the race report
    2012: Big Buck’s – read the race report
    2011: Big Buck’s – read the race report

    Winning-most trainer, horse, jockey and owner

    The all-time leading Stayers’ Hurdle trainer is Paul Nicholls, who has so far won it a total of four times, thanks to Big Buck’s, who is also the horse that holds the most wins in this race (2009-12). The winning-most jockey in the race is Ruby Walsh, thanks to his five wins — all four on Big Buck’s, plus one on Nichols Canyon. And there are two leading Stayers’ Hurdle owners, who both have four wins each. These are the Stewart Family, who owned Big Buck’s and Andrea & Graham Wylie, who owned Inglis Drever (2005, 2007, 2008) and  Nichols Canyon.

    The history of the Stayers’ Hurdle

    The inaugural Stayers’ Hurdle race was run in 1912 at Prestbury Park with £100 (£200 in 1913) prize money to the winner and £10 to the runner-up. It was called the Stayers Selling Hurdle and was a weight for age selling event with the winning horse being sold for £50 after the race. The race was dropped from the Festival programme twice during 1928–1929 and in 1939–1945 but in 1946 it replaced the Spa Hurdle, which was previously run in 1923 and 1942 over two miles. From 1946 to 1967 the Spa Hurdle was run over the same three miles until being renamed in 1972 as the Stayers’ Hurdle.

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