A star novice over fences two seasons ago, the Willie Mullins-trained Arkle winner failed to rediscover that form in three starts last season – falling at Naas before being touched off by Simply Ned at Leopardstown and finishing down the field in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.
However, he appeared right back to his brilliant best on his reappearance in Thursday’s Boomerang.ie Chase and now looks set to step up to three miles for the King George on Boxing Day, or the Savills Chase at Leopardstown on December 28.
Anthony Bromley, racing manager to Footpad’s owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said: “It was a great thrill to see him bounce back to something like his old self – he really looked a happy horse.
“(Jockey) Daryl (Jacob) was very happy with him. He’s a horse we won’t be rushing back for something like the John Durkan at Punchestown (December 8), and we will look at running him over Christmas – either in the King George or the Savills Chase at Leopardstown.
“We’ll aim at one of those. It was never the plan to rush him back.”
Footpad is a best priced 14-1 for the King George – a race Mullins last won with the popular Florida Pearl in 2001.