Footpad 'in great shape' and set for Leopardstown showcase

Tue 16 Jan 2018

The Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown is highlighted by Willie Mullins' Footpad, an impressive winner of both his starts over fences to date.

He is likely to be joined by stablemate Demi Sang, who is also among the 10 entries for the race on February 3.

"Footpad is in great shape, and this race is marked out for him," said Mullins.

"Hopefully it doesn't come too soon for Demi Sang. Barry (Geraghty) really liked him in Naas.

"He asked him a hard question against a horse with a lot more experience. He pulled it out when he was asked after the last."

While Footpad has been making hay, Henry de Bromhead's Petit Mouchoir has been recuperating from a setback.

"It's not like you would have liked it to have unfolded, but that's the way it is. He's working towards this race and I'm happy with him at the moment," said De Bromhead.

"He seems good and worked well this morning."

Elliott is likely to run Tombstone, second in a Grade Two over Christmas.

"Probably Tombstone will end up in it. He's more or less a Grade Three horse, and could maybe pick up a Grade Two," said Condon.

The likes of Cracking Smart, Real Steel, Getabird, Next Destination and Warren Greatrex's Challow Hurdle runner-up Mulcahys Hill are all in the mix for the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle.

However, it appears Elliott is likely to sidestep the Grade One with Cracking Smart.

"If there was another one to run, it would maybe be Delta Work," said Condon.

"Cracking Smart ran very well in the Grade One at Naas the last day and I think he's going to freshen him up for Cheltenham."

De Bromhead indicated Dicey O'Reilly, a winner at the Christmas meeting, would be a likely runner.

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