Darasso took full advantage of Flooring Porter’s fall at the second-last flight to claim the Grade 2 Lismullen Hurdle at Navan on Sunday.
Flooring Porter, last season’s Stayers’ Hurdle hero, had made the running and still looked to be going within himself, despite being challenged by Grand Roi, when he came down. Thankfully both Gavin Crowmell’s six-year-old and rider Danny Mullins were quickly to their feet.
That left Darasso (4/1), who had made ground from last place in the five-runner field, to pick up the pieces.
The eight-year-old, trained by Joseph O’Brien, came through to hit the front under Luke Dempsey and land the spoils by six lengths from last year’s winner Sire De Berlais, to give owner J.P. McManus the first and second.
“He’s been very consistent all year, he run some good races so it’s nice to see him back again in front,” said McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry.
“He’s in the Morgiana next weekend and we’ll see how he is during the week, he doesn’t mind pulling out quick. If he is in good form we might have a shot at it.
“He’s probably not good enough for the Grade 1s, but he could pick up a bit of prize-money – he never runs a bad race.”
Dempsey said: “It was a very good performance. He likes that good ground and he did it nicely in the end. He’s been on the go all summer and the others haven’t so that helped him. He had a fitness edge.”
When asked if he thought he had Flooring Porter covered, he added: “I’m not sure whether he had me beaten or not, to be perfectly honest with you. I was coming with my run at the time and I felt I had plenty of horse left. He did it nicely. He’s a right little horse.
“We went very quick, there was no hanging about. I was riding my lad to run well and pick up whatever I could. When they went so quick early on, I knew it would play into my hands.”
Gavin Cromwell, trainer of Flooring Porter, had earlier seen his My Mate Mozzie take his unbeaten record over the smaller obstacles to two with a convincing all-the-way win in the Grade 3 For Auction Novice Hurdle.
My Mate Mozzie - what a prospect— Racing TV (@RacingTV) November 7, 2021
?? Three runs under Rules
?? Three wins
?? £205,000 purchase
?? Hugely exciting
He remains unbeaten in fine style for Mark Walsh & @gavincromwell1 at @NavanRacecourse
Good to see Boothen Boy up after his fall at the last ?? pic.twitter.com/zUJVXDKn8a
Thes five-year-old made a big impression on his hurdling debut at Punchestown last month. and followed up in promising fashion.
My Mate Mozzie (4/5 favourite) was tracked by Serenity Grove and San Salvador in the early stages before the pace picked up from three out.
The Gordon Elliott-trained pair of Boothen Boy and Chemical Energy tried to mount challenges, but the former came down at the final flight, hampering his stable companion.
That left My Mate Mozzie to score as he liked, by 10 lengths, in the hands of Mark Walsh. Chemical Energy hung on for second place with Ferdia a length away in third spot.
Walsh said: “The only negative I’d have about him is that he was jumping right most of the way.
“I think a right-handed track would suit him better, but he’s a lovely horse – very straightforward and he travels and jumps.
“I gave him a squeeze after the second-last and he felt like he sprinted away from them. He’s an exciting horse going forward.
“I gave him a squeeze after the second-last, but I hadn’t fully gone for him and I was very happy I was always going to win.”