The celebrations have already commenced in South Roscommon in the aftermath of Flooring Porter winning the main race of the day at Cheltenham — the Paddy Powers Stayers Hurdle — at 12/1.
Just like his pillar to post success in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown, Flooring Porter, ridden brilliantly by Danny Mullins, led from the front and kept the challenge of Sire Du Berlais and Paisley Park at bay on a red-letter day for Roscommon racing at Prestbury Park.
Trained by Gavin Cromwell, the horse is owned by a syndicate which includes father and son Tommy and Alan Sweeney from Creagh, South Roscommon, Alan’s uncle Kerril Creaven and his friend Edward Hogarty, both from Killimordaly over the Galway border.
Both Alan and Tommy formerly ran The County Man Inn in Creagh while Karl operates a well-known furniture business in Galway. The horses’ distinctive silks of black and white are also in keeping with the horse’s name and a “pint of the black stuff”.
Alan bought the horse as an unbroken three-year-old for €5,000 from Gavin Cromwell. And despite sustaining a pelvic injury after acquiring the gelding, the six-year-old has shown progress in each of his 14 outings to date, earning €127,211 in prize-money.
But that will pale into significance with the publicity and acclaim that will come on the back of this high-prized victory on the biggest stage at all.