Footpad put his rivals to the sword with another peerless display as he won the Grade One Frank Ward Solicitors Irish Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Beforehand Petit Mouchoir was very on his toes in the preliminaries.

Footpad went straight into the lead, followed by Petit Mouchoir, who was not foot perfect at the first.

Passing the post with a circuit to race, Footpad led by a couple of lengths from Petit Mouchoir, with the pair several lengths clear of Tycoon Prince, Any Second Now and Demi Sang.

Footpad and Petit Mouchoir moved a long way clear of their three rivals, with the former jumping the better of the two.

Turning out of the back, at the third last, Footpad began to turn the screw and moved four lengths clear of Petit Mouchoir, with Tycoon Prince and Any Second Now battling for third, but a long way back.

Footpad turned for home four lengths clear with Petit Mouchoir trying to close.

The leader dived a bit at the last buy sauntered home with Petit Mouchoir unable to make any impression.

Tycoon Prince took a heavy fall at the last fence and that left Any Second Now to claim third place, ahead of Demi Sang, who was never a factor. Thankfully the talented Tycoon Prince and Jack Kennedy were soon up on their feet.

The Willie Mullins trained Footpad was gaining revenge on Petit Mouchoir, who had beaten him when they were hurdlers.

He looks head and shoulders above the other two mile novice chasers at this stage of the season.

Winning jockey Paul Townend could not have been more impressed.

“He jumps like a stag, you’d swear he’s jumping fences all his life. It was a great thrill riding him, he was deadly!

”I thought it was a really good performance and he did it the hard way, making all his own running.”

Davy Russell, rider of the runner-up, Petit Mouchoir, said:

“We were a bit disappointed because at the start of the season we thought we had the best but it seems there’s one better than us. He made two early mistakes and that put manners on him.”

The pair finished 19 lengths clear of the third horse home, Any Second Now