It’s taken a long time for most of us to catch on to just how good Flooring Porter is.
The doubts sprang from his humble beginnings. He was bought for relative peanuts and hardly looked a bargain in low-grade Irish handicaps as recently as two seasons ago.
Then, even after his career suddenly took off and he won the Stayers’ Hurdle at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, there were suspicions that it was a bit of a fluke, engineered largely by Danny Mullins’ brilliant front-running ride.
Well, if it was a fluke, he fluked it again last month, the jockey employing the same clever, waiting-in-front tactics to see off British stalwarts Thyme Hill, Paisley Park and Champ with the minimum of fuss.
So now we’d better believe it. Flooring Porter is the real deal and if this occasionally flaky customer behaves himself in the preliminaries (not a given), we are likely to be singing his praises again in the Liverpool Hurdle, the chief supporting race on Saturday’s Grand National card.
One thing’s for certain: if we’re not shouting the house down, Flooring Porter’s syndicate of owners will be doing it for us if their manic celebrations at Cheltenham are anything to go by.
“This race comes up fairly quickly after Cheltenham, but he’s good and fresh,” said trainer Gavin Cromwell.
Edwardstone is another looking good to supplement Cheltenham gains in the Maghull Novices’ Chase.
The Arkle Trophy winner is a solid performer, but he has got the job done five times in a row, twice at the highest level. Three Stripe Life, runner-up to Sir Gerhard at Cheltenham, and Walking On Air, the easy winner of a Newbury maiden, will likely dominate the betting in the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.
But Elle Est Belle might scupper them both. The mare had tempting engagements at Cheltenham but trainer Dan Skelton felt that today’s test, over an easy two and a half miles, would be more up her street.
Aintree tips 2022, day 3
- 1.45pm: Party Business
- 2.20pm: Elle Est Belle (Next Best)
- 3pm: Edwardstone
- 3.35pm: Flooring Porter
- 4.15: Shan Blue
- 5.15pm (Grand National): 1 Snow Leopardess (Best Bet)
- 6.20pm Rath Gaul Boy
Read Jon’s preview to the Grand National here