After being moved to Ireland, Footpad’s opening race meeting under Willie Mullins proved Simon Munir and Isaac Souede right for opting to buy him, winning the Three-Year-Old Maiden Hurdle at Gowran Park. He was immediately knocked back in only being able to place in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown but saw two successive wins in the Ladbrokes Hurdle at Gowran Park and the Gain Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown.
While he wasn’t able to win his first entry into Cheltenham Festival, a third-place finish in the JCB Triumph Hurdle was more than respectable, especially as he finished behind Apple’s Jade - also trained by Willie Mullins - who had also beaten him in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown three months prior. Apple’s Jade went on to win the Betfred Anniversary Four-Year-Old Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree, where Footpad was unfortunately unable to finish the race. Footpad got back to basics after his failure to finish, winning two and placing in one of three races back at Auteuil where he started his racing career.
Returning to British and Irish racing, Footpad finished fourth in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown, second in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown, third in the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown, and fourth in the Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham Festival. This prompted his best run of results, winning five in a row between November 2017 and November 2018 including the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham Festival, a race at Navan, a race at Punchestown, and two races at Leopardstown, which was only ruined by a failure to finish in the Poplar Square Chase as Naas.