Footpad earmarked for Champion

Connections of Footpad believe he has entered the frame for the Champion Hurdle after he pushed Petit Mouchoir close in the Irish equivalent on Sunday.

Footpad

Third in the Triumph Hurdle last March, Willie Mullins' five-year-old stayed on strongly into second place at Leopardstown to suggest there was more improvement to come.

Anthony Bromley, racing manager to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said: "It was a very encouraging run and he still looks to be progressing.

"If Willie is happy with him I can't see why he wouldn't run in the Champion Hurdle, but he wouldn't run again before it.

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"He stays well. He won over nearly two and a half miles in France and the Champion Hurdle certainly requires stamina.

"As long as he continues to please Willie, there'd be no reason not to run him (in the Champion Hurdle).

"We're already excited about him going novice chasing next season, though.

"The owners have three other Champion Hurdle entries, too – Sceau Royal, L'Ami Serge and Top Notch.

"Sceau Royal is a bit of a forgotten horse and will run in the Kingwell at Wincanton next. He scoped dirty after disappointing in the Fighting Fifth.

"L'Ami Serge would be an unlikely runner (in the Champion Hurdle) and Top Notch is in just in case he doesn't make the grade over fences.

"Hopefully Sceau Royal will be back in the picture after Wincanton, but Footpad certainly deserves his place."

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