Lostintranslation has much in his favour as he bids to retain his Betfair Chase title at Haydock on Saturday.
Colin Tizzard’s eight-year-old announced himself as a Cheltenham Gold Cup candidate 12 months ago when he foiled the reopposing Bristol De Mai’s hat-trick bid in Saturday’s Grade 1 feature on Merseyside.
Statistically, the passage of another year can only be to Lostintranslation’s advantage as he continues to mature, while Nigel Twiston-Davies’ grey bids to keep his top-class level of form after 33 career starts over seven seasons.
Lostintranslation has less than half that mileage on his clock – and having mastered the admirable Bristol De Mai convincingly after the last a year ago, has obvious prospects of doing so again.
He must get the better too of Clan Des Obeaux this time, but is rightly favourite to do so.
Tizzard’s stable star was a 1.50-length winner here in 2019, having begun his campaign with a hugely-promising victory in a Listed chase at Carlisle.
He was then a disappointment in the King George VI Chase at Kempton where he was pulled up, and Clan Des Obeaux stormed to a second successive victory in the Boxing Day showpiece.
A breathing problem was diagnosed to explain Losintranslation’s mediocre performance and after a wind operation, he returned to finish an admirable third at Cheltenham, with Clan Des Obeaux and Bristol De Mai well behind in eighth and ninth.
That effort came at a time when the majority of Tizzard’s horses were struggling, so was all the more meritorious.
Lostintranslation’s two main rivals can be expected to run better this weekend than they did then, having both previously shown their liking for this track.
But he has proved he is fine here too – and on most recent form, and likely career progression, he should still have them covered.
Earlier on the card, Severance and Kid Commando can both confirm they are hurdlers to keep on the right side of this season.
The former takes a quick step up in class for Ben Pauling in the Listed Betfair Weighed In Podcast Newton Novices’ Hurdle.
It is a bold move after just one successful jumps start, in a maiden hurdle at Carlisle this month.
But Severance was impressive there, taking care of an odds-on favourite and demonstrating soft ground is no problem for him.
He previously reached a rating in the low 90s on the Flat, so has plenty of potential in his new discipline.
Kid Commando moves up in trip for the Betfair Racing Only Bettor Handicap Hurdle – and on the basis of his all-the-way domination of a Listed Ascot handicap first time out three weeks ago, he will take some stopping.
Charlie Longsdon had a choice of engagements for Snow Leopardess, and has decided on the Betfair Supports Safer Gambling Week Handicap Chase – with the assistance of Brian Hughes – as she bids to take advantage of a handy mark after two promising placed efforts from her only attempts over fences so far.
The Coral Hurdle and Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase are the Grade 2 highlights at Ascot.
In the former, Laurina can get her career back on track as she makes her debut for Paul Nicholls.
The seven-year-old was a very classy hurdler for Willie Mullins, winning a Grade 1 novice event in 2018 before falling short of the very highest level in full company the following year.
Mullins opted to try her over fences last term – and she started well enough in dishing out an eight-length beating to Minella Indo. But she bled when upped to Grade 1 level last Christmas, and that experience possibly left its mark as she never looked comfortable when pulled up in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase in February.
Laurina then returned to hurdles – and while she ran a better race, she still looked nowhere near the horse she had previously been.
A change of scenery might have freshened her up – and given she gets nearly a stone from her two rivals, it is worth taking a chance that Laurina is now back on form.
Imperial Aura has already shown he has progressed again this season, with an emphatic success in the Carlisle race won by Lostintranslation a year earlier.
Real Steel may extend him in the 1965 Chase – on stable debut for Nicholls, having finished sixth in the Gold Cup for Mullins on his most recent appearance – but Kim Bailey’s Festival winner should rise to the challenge in receipt of 1kg. – Sportinglife.com
Top tips for today’s UK meetings
TAB is betting on 5 UK race meetings today. Here are the tips:
LINGFIELD: Race 1: 13.35 At Ease, Race 2: 14.05 Clever Trucker, Race 3: 14.35 Holdenhurst, Race 4: 15.10 Documenting, Race 5: 15.45 Touchwood, Race 6: 16.20 Dark Shot, Race 7: 16.55 Quemonda, Race 8: 17.30 Union Spirit.
HUNTINGDON: Race 1: 13.45 Getaway Luv, Race 2: 14.15 Glory And Honour, Race 3: 14.48 She’sasupermack, Race 4: 15.23 Fairway Freddy, Race 5: 15.58 Flint Hill, Race 6: 16.33 Wye Aye, Race 7: 17.08 Golden Gift, Race 8: 17.43 Maxcel.
HAYDOCK: Race 1: 14.10 Severance, Race 2: 14.40 Snow Leopardess, Race 3: 15.15 Good Boy Bobby, Race 4: 15.50 Kid Commando, Race 5: 16.25 Main Fact, Race 6: 17.00 LOSTINTRANSLATION (NAP), Race 7: 17.35 Sheneededtherun.
ASCOT: Race 1: 14.20 Southfield Harvest, Race 2: 14.55 Demachine, Race 3: 15.30 Same Circus, Race 4: 16.05 Imperial Aura, Race 5: 16.40 Laurina, Race 6: 17.17 First Flow, Race 7: 17.50 Sixty Dollars More.
WOLVERHAMPTON: Race 1: 18.30 Beau Geste, Race 2: 19.00 Mabre, Race 3: 19.30 Convertible, Race 4: 20.00 Katyusha, Race 5: 20.30 Divine Magic, Race 6: 21.00 Wurlitzer, Race 7: 21.30 Clinician, Race 8: 22.00 Amtiyaz, Race 9: 22.30 Lezardrieux.
ALL TO COME: Imperial Aura (Ascot, Race 4) and Lostintranslation (Haydock, Race 6)
For fields, betting and more information go to www.tabonline.co.za