Petit Mouchoir 
Image supplied by Goffs Ltd

Footpad is the potential star among just five runners in Saturday’s Frank Ward Solicitors Irish Arkle at Leopardstown.

Just behind the very best hurdlers on a number of occasions last season, Willie Mullins’ six-year-old has not put a foot wrong in two outings over fences this term and is already a strong favourite for the Arkle at Cheltenham in March.

He faces Henry de Bromhead’s Petit Mouchoir, winner of last year’s Irish Champion Hurdle and a victor on his chasing debut in October, although he has been off the track with a problem since that outing.
Mullins also runs the JP McManus-owned Demi Sang, a French import who won on his debut for the yard last month.

Gordon Elliott is represented by Tycoon Prince, who was impressive in a beginners’ chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, while Ted Walsh runs the useful Any Second Now.