Mullins and Moore a pair of class acts after emotional World Hurdle win
Put yourself in Johnathan Moore's shoes for a second.
The 27-year-old Wexford man has never rode a Cheltenham winner and Flooring Porter, Gavin Cromell's fancied six-year-old, looked his best chance yet heading into Thursday's stayers' hurdle.
As a jockey, these chances don't come around all that often. As a jockey, these are the rides you live and sacrifice for. As a jockey, these are the cruel breaks in this most perilous of games.
From the moment Moore hit the Kildare turf after a fall in Naas last Sunday, he must have started to worry. Jockeys know their body and its limits better than anyone and ahead of the biggest week of the racing calendar and of his racing life, his was the most ill-timed of ill-timed blows.
Moore gave himself every chance and when he sat up on his pride and joy this morning, it must have been the most tempting thing in the world, sore back or no sore back, for him to wear it out and take his ride on Flooring Porter. That's only human nature.
Sometimes, the bravest step of all is a step back though and when Moore told Gavin Cromwell to give Danny Mullins a call this morning, he did so with the best interests of the horse and its connections at heart. The horses' subsequent victory will surely leave a bittersweet taste as Moore ponders what might have been, but he's done right by everyone involved here and should be admired for that.
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.
▪️ Mullins on his first Cheltenham Festival winner.@dan2231 & @johnnymoore111 👏#CheltenhamFestival pic.twitter.com/M2pJf9jHPK
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 18, 2021
"I tried to ride out this morning and I couldn’t stand up properly in the irons," he said in what was an emotional interview after the race.
"I said to Gavin put Danny Mullins up on him and he’ll win. I'm just so proud of the horse."
Danny Mullins was the right man in the right place at the right time and having given the horse the perfect steer from pillar to post, he had his first ever Cheltenham festival winner.
It wasn't the limelight he was looking for though, showing his class with a selfless, considerate interview in which he gave Moore all the credit.
"It was a late spare ride for me. The man down there is the one you want to be talking to. I had a very simple job. Johnathan lost the ride this morning and he gave me every bit of information he had about the horse," said Mullins.
"It is a bittersweet one. I'm delighted for everyone. Obviously, it's tough for me to take as well, but it is a great day for everyone involved."
🗣 "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