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Dublin: 7°C Saturday 16 January 2021

Footpad flounders as Real Steel lands feature at Thurles

Mullins hopeful cut as short as 10/1 for the Ryanair Chase following Sunday’s win.

Real Steel: 14-length winner (file photo).
Real Steel: 14-length winner (file photo).
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

REAL STEEL BOOSTED his Cheltenham credentials with an impressive victory over Footpad at Thurles this afternoon.

Real Steel and Paul Townend were sent off the 2/1 second favourite for the Grade 2 Horse and Jockey Hotel Chase, but cruised home as comfortable winners by 14 lengths.

Real Steel was cut as short as 10/1 in places for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham following Sunday’s win.

Third in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day, Footpad was sent off the odds-on favourites at 8/11 in the hands of Daryl Jacob.

But as the pair pulled clear of their other opposition two fences from home, it was clear that Real Steel had the measure of his Willie Mullins stablemate, opening up a lead before pulling away from Jacob and Footpad after the last.

“Footpad probably didn’t fire – I thought Daryl was in a little bit of trouble across the top when we bypassed the fence,” Townend told Racing TV afterwards.

On Real Steel, he added: “He probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves because he’s never run a bad race.”

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The other Grade 2 on Sunday’s card, the Mares Novice Chase, also went the way of Mullins with 4/7 favourites Mark Walsh and Elimay winning in the colours of JP McManus, with Cut The Mustard and Augusta Gold in second and third.

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