Racing UK

Footpad heads strong Irish entry for Betfair Hurdle honours

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Footpad

Footpad tops a strong Irish-trained entry of 14 among a total 54 possibles for the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on February 11.

The richest hurdle race run in Europe, with £155,000 on offer, it was last won by an Irish-trained runner in 2005 when Essex claimed the spoils for Michael O'Brien.

Willie Mullins has entered eight, including Grade One winner Footpad, while Gordon Elliott has four to choose from, topped by Mick Jazz.

Nicky Henderson has won the race more than anyone and can choose from L'Ami Serge, Hargam, Discours d'Un Roiand Consul de Thaix.

Paul Nicholls has Modus, Zubayr, and the 10-1 ante-post favourite with the sponsors, Movewiththetimes.

Swinton Hurdle winner Gwafa has been given an entry by Paul Webber.

"Gwafa pulled a tiny bit of bone off a joint when he stumbled at Kempton in October," said Webber.

"The plan was to give him a bit of a break after that run anyway and he has come back very well indeed.

"He will probably go for an away-day gallop sometime at the end of next week.

"The ground would have to be decent if he was to go to Newbury as he doesn't want it tacky.

"Newbury is certainly an option for him and, if he doesn't go there, he would most likely run in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton."

Ballyandy, Winter Escape, Ch'tibello and Wait For Me are others to catch the eye.

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