King George temptation for Willie Mullins and Footpad

Boxing Day appointment at Kempton not ruled out

  • Wednesday 31 October
  • News
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Willie Mullins could consider stepping up in trip with Footpad for the 32Red King George VI Chase at Christmas.

The six-year-old carried all before him in the two-mile novice chase division last term, ending the campaign unbeaten in five starts and with four Grade One triumphs in the bag.

Footpad is a general 7-2 chance for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham next March – but a trip to Kempton for the three-mile showpiece on Boxing Day has not been ruled out.

Mullins said: “I haven’t discussed things with (owners) Simon Munir, Isaac Souede or indeed (racing manager) Anthony Bromley yet.

“He can do any trip from two miles to three miles. I’m thinking we might start him off over two miles and then let him out to two and a half.

“Three miles at Christmas for the King George is a possibility, but a lot will depend on how he comes out of his first two races.”

Mullins has a wealth of talent in the two- to two-and-a-half-mile chase division, being able to call on the likes of Min and Un De Sceaux along with Great Field.

Un De Sceaux suffered an odds-on reverse in the Ryanair Chase last term, but bounced back with victory at Punchestown.

Mullins said: “He has come back strong, he has come back huge.

“I’d imagine he is going to have the same sort of targets as last year. We skipped the Tingle Creek last year and went to Cork for the Hilly Way.

“He will be entered in those two races, and we’ll decide nearer the time which way he goes.”

Min chased home Altior at Cheltenham and was then edged out by Politologue in a thrilling finish to the two-and-a-half-mile Melling Chase at Aintree on his penultimate start.

Mullins said: “He will have a similar type of programme to last year. He ran a fantastic race at Liverpool, I was just looking at it the other day. He could go back for that race again this season, but it’s a long way down the road.

“Two miles to two and a half will be his trip, I don’t think we will be going any longer with him.”

The lightly-raced Great Field was a Grade One winner as a novice and won a Grade Two on his only outing last term for Mullins.

He added: “He is going to stick to what he did last year. Two miles will be his trip and we will try to keep himself and Un De Sceaux apart for as long as we can.”

King George temptation for Willie Mullins and Footpad
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