Flooring Porter booked for Florida Pearl duty on Saturday

By Sports Desk November 22, 2023

Keith Donoghue will maintain the partnership with Flooring Porter when he heads to Punchestown for the Liam & Valerie Brennan Florida Pearl Novice Chase on Saturday.

Gavin Cromwell’s dual Stayers’ Hurdle hero made the perfect switch to fences at Cheltenham last month, readily beating Broadway Boy who gave the form a really strong boost when scoring at Prestbury Park last weekend.

He is now being prepared to go right-handed for the first time in over two years when he makes a long-awaited return to Punchestown for Grade Two action over three miles and the chance to confirm himself as a leading player in the staying novice chase division.

“He’s in great shape and we’re looking forward to getting him out,” said Cromwell.

“It is obviously his first time going right-handed since he ran in Punchestown in the Stayers’ Hurdle the year he won his first Stayers’ at Cheltenham.

“He’s a lot more mature now and hopefully an easier ride. It’s on the chase track at Punchestown and we know it’s a true track.

“If we’re ever going to try it, I think we should try it now. We can still go to Leopardstown at Christmas and it looks an obvious race.”

Flooring Porter was masterfully ridden in his two Cheltenham Festival victories by Danny Mullins, but steering duties for his chasing bow back in Gloucestershire belonged to Donoghue who, as a key part of the Cromwell operation, will retain the ride on the handler’s stable star.

“Keith will ride him and has done all the schooling on him,” continued Cromwell.

“Danny has had a great association with the horse, but Keith is in almost all the time. It was a difficult phone call to make to Danny and touch wood nothing happens to Keith.”

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