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Champion trainer Willie Mullins has another exciting recruit to look forward to as the progressive Footpad has been made 8/1 favourite by most firms for the Arkle at Cheltenham next March.

 Footpad made an eye-catching winning debut over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase at Navan racecourse on Sunday.

The Grade One-winning hurdler eased home by 11 lengths from Brelade in the hands of Daryl Jacob to have Mullins thinking of the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse next month.

Mullins has stated: “He is a very natural jumper at home and he did the same here.”I thought it was a good performance for a first-time-out novice. He’s as good a novice as I’ve seen schooling at home.

“I’d imagine we’ll look at the Drinmore. The way he was going there I’d be happy to stick at two miles but the Drinmore is two and a half, so we’ll look at that. “He has no problem going two and a half as he was a two-and-a-half-mile hurdler.”

Anthony Bromley, racing manager to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said: “It was a very encouraging run and he still looks to be progressing.