Steel too strong for Footpad in Thurles feature

Mullins’ team dominates Grade Two chase.

  • Sunday 19 January
  • News
Up to £40 in bonus funds

Real Steel led home a one-two-three for Willie Mullins in the Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase at Thurles.

The champion trainer launched a strong assault on the Grade Two prize formerly known as the Kinloch Brae Chase, with Footpad seemingly his chief contender following his third place in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Despite being the highest-rated horse in the field, the eight-year-old received weight from each of his four rivals and was the 8-11 favourite to bounce back to winning ways in the hands of Daryl Jacob.

After initially being settled on the heels of the leaders, Footpad went to the front heading out onto the second circuit and produced some exuberant leaps.

However, Paul Townend covered the move aboard his stablemate Real Steel – a winner at Down Royal earlier in the season before finishing fourth behind his esteemed stable companion Min in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

The pair had it between them rounding the home turn, but it was clear even at that stage that 2-1 shot Real Steel had far more to give and he pulled clear to seal an impressive 14-length win.

Footpad again had to make do with minor honours in second, with another Mullins inmate in Voix Du Reve back in third.

Mullins said: “I was disappointed with Footpad, but I think he ran too free and the pace was a little bit slow. He did too much in the middle of the race and missing the omitted third-last fence didn’t give him a chance to get his breath back.

“I was very pleased with how Real Steel jumped and how he stayed on and he is improving. Voix Du Reve improved from his last run as well.

“I’d imagine the Ryanair Chase is the plan for Real Steel. Paul said he was as straight as a die today and there was no bias (jumping left or right). We were concerned before, but we have to be looking at the Ryanair Chase with that performance.

“Footpad could possibly do the same, but today was not his run. Maybe he had too hard a race in Kempton and it may have impacted on him.”

Steel too strong for Footpad in Thurles feature
Sign up to bet365 using bonus code ATR100
Up to £30 in free bets
Get £20 in free bets
£20 Risk Free First Bet
Up to £30 in free bets
Up to £30 in free bets
Up to £40 in bonus funds
Up to £25 in free bets
£20 Free Exchange Bet

Existing User?

Forgot your password?

New User?

Sign up using our simple one-page form and you'll be able to access free video form, tips and exclusive content straight away.