led or disputed lead, headed after 3rd and 3rd halfway, 2nd 4 out and headway to dispute again approaching straight, led after 2 out and ridden to assert before last, kept on well run-in
prominent and disputed lead, slow 1st and slight mistake 2nd, led after next, slow 6th and headed, reminder after 4 out, pushed along and dropped to rear after next, soon no extra, weakened
The race conditions could have been framed for FOOTPAD. Penalties count from July 2018, just three months after he claimed the fourth of his Grade 1 victories over fences at Punchestown. He reappeared with a Listed victory here in November, when Jetz was a long way behind, then found 3m beyond him in the King George at Kempton and receives weight from all of his rivals. Willie Mullins is also represented by Real Steel and Voix Du Reve with the former looking the pick. He was conceding Hardline 7lb when beating him six lengths in a Punchestown handicap in May so should have no problems confirming the form.
Hardline (IRE) 13-2 (11-12) Held up, 6th halfway, ridden into 4th after 2 out, disputed 3rd early straight, under pressure in 4th before last where fell, at Leopardstown 2m 1f (1) sft in Dec.
Voix Du Reve (FR) 12-1 (11-12) Always in rear, slight mistake 4th, took closer order when slight mistake 5 out, pushed along and no impression before 2 out, no extra when tired jump at last, completely tailed off, last of 4, dist behind Al Boum Photo (11-12) at Tramore 2m 5f (1) sft in Jan.
Real Steel (FR) 11-2 (11-10) Soon raced in 3rd, not match principals from after 2 out, mistake last, kept on without threatening run-in, 4th of 9, 3 3/4l behind Min (11-10) at Punchestown 2m 4f (1) sft in Dec.
Jetz (IRE) 28-1 (11-12) Slight mistake 1st, soon rear, trailing halfway, never a factor, 6th of 8, dist behind A Plus Tard (11-12) at Leopardstown 2m 1f (1) sft in Dec.
Footpad (FR) 13-2 (11-10) Held up in close 5th, headway into 3rd after 4 out, pushed along and one pace before next, ridden and no impression between last 2, 3rd of 5, 26l behind Clan Des Obeaux (11-10) at Kempton 3m (1) sft in Dec.