As Jonathan Moore lay on the turf after a nasty fall at Naas last weekend, he immediately knew that he might need to find a replacement rider for Flooring Porter at Cheltenham.
It was while he dusted himself off and rose to his feet that he knew there was no better jockey than Danny Mullins for the job.
Trainer Gavin Cromwell trusted the advice of Moore, who ruled himself out of Thursday afternoon’s Stayers’ Hurdle after refusing to do Flooring Porter a disservice, and offered Mullins the opportunity on board the 12-1 shot.
Flooring Porter bested the likes of Sire Du Berlais and Paisley Park at Cheltenham to romp home on Thursday and the win inspired an emotional moment at the finish line, where Moore was waiting to greet the victorious Flooring Porter who had an unfamiliar jockey in his saddle.
“It’s a bittersweet moment but I’m delighted for the horse and I’m delighted for the Flooring Porter syndicate. I’m delighted for Gavin and all the team,” Moore told Racing TV.
🗣 "It's tough for me to take, but it's great for everyone involved."
One of the classiest interviews you'll ever see 👏 @johnnymoore111 on the difficult decision to give up the ride on subsequent Stayers' Hurdle hero Flooring Porter due to injury#CheltenhamFestival pic.twitter.com/E3V9OWFqph
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 18, 2021
“Obviously, it’s tough for me take as well but it’s a great day for everyone involved.”
Moore revealed how he’d put his faith in Mullins from the off and expressed gratitude that the trainer accepted and applied the jockey’s advice.
“I rode out this morning and I wasn’t able to stand up right out of my irons, it was too sore and I thought I’m not going to do this horse justice,” Moore explained.
“I said to Gavin, ‘Put Danny Mullins on that horse’s back and he’ll win’.”
Nobody would have begrudged Mullins for celebrating his first Cheltenham winner but credit to the Kilkenny man as he pointed the reporter in the direction of Moore for the post-race interview.
This is a brilliant interview.
▪️ Danny Mullins giving all the praise to the horse & Jonathan Moore.
▪️ Jonathan Moore on his decision to pull out this morning.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 18, 2021
While he was thrilled with the victory, Mullins made it clear who deserved the lion’s share of the credit for Flooring Porter’s triumph.
“It was a late spare ride for me. The man down there is the man you want to be talking to,” Mullins said.
“He lost the ride this morning and gave me every bit of information he had about the horse. I had a simple job and found out about it an hour beforehand. That’s the man who has done all the work.”