Irish horse Flooring Porter goes into the 2023 Cheltenham Festival meeting looking to complete a hat-trick of wins at the biggest meeting of the year in National Hunt racing. He has been victorious in the last two renewals of the Stayers’ Hurdle, and he is set to return to defend his crown in the race this year.
Flooring Porter is a staying superstar ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/W9xs3p0JFC
— Racing Post (@RacingPost) March 17, 2022
The 3m contest is the feature race on day three of the meeting. It is one of the four Championship races at the festival, along with the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Flooring Porter is 15/2 in the Cheltenham day 3 antepost betting for the race this year. Given the difficulties he has had this season through injury, it would arguably be the most impressive victory of his career.
The eight-year-old has featured just twice in the 2022/23 campaign. He finished fourth of nine runners in the Grade Two Lismullen Hurdle at Navan on his seasonal reappearance while on his latest start, he had to settle for fourth place in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Inglis Drever and Big Buck’s Only Three-Time Stayers’ Hurdle Winners
Only two horses in the history of Stayers’ Hurdle have been successful three times in the race. Inglis Drever was the first to do so when he completed his hat-trick in 2008. Trained by Howard Johnson in England, he scored at the Festival in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
Big Buck’s replicated what Inglis Drever achieved when he won the Stayers’ Hurdle for the third straight year in 2011. A year later, he made history by defending his crown for a fourth consecutive victory in the Championship contest at the age of nine. Under the hands of usual rider Ruby Walsh, the Paul Nicholls-trained hurdler battled to success to prevail by under a length.
Inglis Drever and Big Buck’s are considered two of the greatest staying hurdlers of all time and should Flooring Porter score in the Stayers’ Hurdle for the third straight year, he will join those two horses in that bracket.
Challengers To Flooring Porter This Year
Unbeaten hurdler Blazing Khal goes into this year’s Stayers’ Hurdle as the favourite to come out on top on the day three feature of the Cheltenham Festival. The Irish horse won the Grade Two Boyne Hurdle at Navan on his latest appearance.
Leading Irish trainer Gordon Elliott will be represented in the race by Teahupoo. With eight wins from 11 starts over hurdles, he too has an excellent record. He has won both of his two assignments this season, including the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
Cheltenham Mares’ Hurdle 🥇
Punchestown Mares’ Champion Hurdle 🥇
Marie’s Rock 😍 @sevenbarrows I @NdeBoinville I @MprUpdates pic.twitter.com/RPV9UZdZ6K
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) April 30, 2022
Marie’s Rock is considered one of the best chances for the British team in the 2023 Stayers’ Hurdle. Nicky Henderson’s runner won the Mares’ Hurdle at the meeting in 2022, but this year she is set to take on the opposite sex.
This year’s Stayers’ Hurdle will be the 77th running of the Grade One contest. Whoever prevails is likely to end the season as the leading staying hurdler in the UK and Ireland.
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