In a whirlwind of a day, Danny Mullins rode his first-ever Cheltenham winner on Thursday.
He guided the Gavin Cromwell trained 12/1 shot Flooring Porter to victory in the Stayers Hurdle, the feature race of the day.
The 9/4 favourite Paisley Park could only manage third, behind Sire Du Berlais.
Mullins only found out he was racing the six-year-old an hour before the race, with Jonathan Moore due to ride him.
"It's fantastic, he's a very good horse.
"I got the call up maybe an hour beforehand. In fairness to Jonathan Moore, he gave me every little bit of information he had about the horse.
"Credit to him, he knew he wasn't in good shape this morning and stood himself down.
"It's the mark of a great man that he wanted everything to go well."
Moore said it was the hardest decision of his life not to ride him and that he was in tears when he told trainer Cromwell that Mullins should replace him in the saddle.
Mullins, although enjoying the occasion, was keen after the race to fairly pay tribute to the team behind the success.
"It's fantastic to get my first winner on the board at Cheltenham, and it being a Grade One as well.
"I'm really enjoying what I've got out of today but I'd say 2% of the success is down to me, 98% is Johnny, [Jonathan Moore] Gavin [Cromwell] and all the team.
"There's no crowd here and it doesn't matter to me, I am really enjoying this.
He wasn’t for catching!
Flooring Porter wins the @PaddyPower Stayers’ Hurdle#CheltenhamFestival pic.twitter.com/B06dwDcURc
— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) March 18, 2021
"He [Moore] was the first man to come and congratulate me, that was a bitter-sweet moment for him and a real mark of a solid man to come and congratulate me first and foremost.
"I was going to give him a big slap on the back, but I'd say that mightn't have gone down well, so I just said 'thanks a million, well done.'
"I had my feet in the irons but he had done all the work."
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