Left-handed Leopardstown next for Flooring Porter

Trainer Gavin Cromwell is keen to return to a left-handed track for Flooring Porter’s next outing, which is likely to be the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown on 29 December.

FLOORING PORTER. Picture: PA Images.

Although the two-time Stayers' Hurdle hero had not shown an obvious dislike for racing right-handed, circumstance had meant that his third in the Grade 2 Florida Pearl Novice Chase at Leopardstown was the gelding's first run right-handed in over two years.

He jumped left in the early stages but appeared to get caught up with the loose horse and began to hang left from the fifth fence, throwing away any winning opportunity in the closing stages. It was a stark contrast from his impressive chasing debut at Cheltenham, where the gelding soundly defeated subsequent Listed winner Broadway Boy.

"The loose horse messed it all up for us, but he started off in a nice position and in a nice rhythm," said Cromwell.

"He jumped the first four fences fine and then the loose horse upset him, which kind of put told to his chances.

"I think he actually ran an OK race considering everything which happened in the race and he came home safe and sound, so we're happy with that.

"He's entered in the Grade One [at Christmas] and we'll more than likely go there.

"He'll be back going left-handed, which is a big thing, really. He's clearly better that way and I wouldn't be ruling it [right-handed] out again, but for the moment we'll definitely be sticking to left-handed."

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