Flooring Porter takes on 10 rivals in Stayers’ hat-trick bid

Teahupoo and Blazing Khal amongst Cheltenham opposition.

Gavin Cromwell’s Flooring Porter will face 10 rivals as he bids to win the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on Thursday for the third time.

He has already joined the likes of Galmoy and Baracouda as a dual victor in the race and a third triumph would emulate Inglis Drever, although the indomitable Big Buck’s stands alone having won the race four times.

Flooring Porter has suffered an interrupted preparation this year but Cromwell has been pleased with his progress in recent weeks.

Winning connections celebrating Flooring Porter's success in the World Hurdle last year
Winning connections celebrating Flooring Porter’s success in the World Hurdle last year (Steven Paston/PA)

Gordon Elliott’s Teahupoo is one of the young pretenders aiming to take his crown.

He caused a shock when downing Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace and then proved his stamina in the Galmoy Hurdle.

Joseph O’Brien’s Home By The Lee was sixth in the race 12 months ago and has improved this term to win the Lismullen Hurdle and Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Blazing Khal is unbeaten in his last five races and returned from a mammoth absence to win on his only outing this season in the Boyne Hurdle, but trainer Charles Byrnes has endured a difficult time with him since that Navan run last month.

Klassical Dream faded into fifth when beaten favourite in this race last year and is another who has not enjoyed a straightforward preparation.

Sire Du Berlais and Ashdale Bob also represent Ireland.

The home team is consists of just two, previous winner Paisley Park and Jeremy Scott’s Dashel Drasher.

Dashel Drasher was second in the Cleeve Hurdle to Gold Tweet, who is trained in France by Gabriel Leenders. He has been supplemented along with fellow French challenger Henri Le Farceur.

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