The Willie Mullins-trained Footpad is poised to make his reappearance for this season in a two-mile outing at Naas on Saturday.
The six-year-old enjoyed an impressive run in the two-mile novice chasing division last term with five wins from as many outings, including success in the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival, while he also won the Irish version at Leopardstown.
And stable jockey Ruby Walsh has identified the weekend's Grade Three Poplar Square Chase as an ideal opener for Footpad.
"Footpad is in great order," Walsh told Racing UK.
"We're thinking about stepping him up in trip at some time during the season. Whether he'll run on Saturday or not I don't know at this stage, but it's a two-mile chase for first and second-season novices, so it's as good a place as any.
"He'll have the entry, we'll see how he is on Thursday before deciding if he'll run or not.
"We've been happy with him at home, but at this time of year most connections are.
"Until you get out on the track, you don't really know."
Article Posted on Tuesday 6th November 2018 @ 16.27
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