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'No issues' with Footpad as Arkle remains Cheltenham Festival objective

Sat 3 Mar 2018

Connections have confirmed Footpad remains on course for the Racing Post Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham on Tuesday week - despite his odds drifting in the ante-post market.

Dublin Racing Festival - Day One - Leopardstown Races

The six-year-old, trained by Willie Mullins, had lengthened to around 6-4 favourite from even-money for the two-mile novice event on the opening day.

Petit Mouchoir, who was beaten five lengths when Footpad took his unbeaten record over fences to three in the Irish version of the Arkle at Leopardstown a month ago, had gone the other way to 2-1 from 7-2 in the two-mile novice chase championship.

Rumours were rife he might instead be switched to the JLT Novices' Chase after his odds for that race halved in places to 5-1 from 10-1.

However, Anthony Bromley, racing manager for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said there had no been change of heart and that the horse was in fine shape.

"Absolutely nothing has changed," Bromley said.

"I've spoken to Willie today. The horse exercised today. He's absolutely fine, no problems with the horse. There's no reason to change from the original plan all winter which has been the Arkle.

"People are obviously having a non-runner no bet, so they get their money back. He's obviously longer odds in the JLT.

"As of today there are no issues with the horse. We've got 10 days to the Arkle.

"The final decision will be made next weekend but there's no change of plan and we don't understand why (he has drifted in the Arkle). It's probably not much money that's changed it anyway.

"I've checked with Willie. There are no issues. It's all systems go and we are going for the Arkle."

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