Willie Mullins’ duo of Footpad and Un De Sceaux are among 12 runners declared for Thursday’s Ryanair Chase.
Footpad returns to the Cheltenham Festival having managed to claim wins in each of his five starts in the two-mile novice chasing division last season, including victory in the Arkle Trophy at Prestbury Park.
The seven-year-old has not been able to replicate the same kind of form this season, as he fell on his seasonal debut at Naas before having to settle for second place at Leopardstown over the festive period.
However, Footpad is still expected to be the horse to beat in the Ryanair Chase, while Mullins also has a contender in the form of Un De Sceaux, who managed to win this race in 2017.
Reigning champions Balko Des Flos is also back to defend his crown as one of three participants for the Henry de Bromhead camp.