Lostintranslation could swerve the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, connections have hinted.
The nine-year-old bounced back to form on his seasonal bow in the Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase at Ascot on Saturday, following a disappointing 2020-21 campaign when many of the Tizzard team’s horses were under a cloud.
A Grade One-winning novice chaser, Lostintranslation had impressed in the 2019 Betfair Chase but had not been successful since.
Yet he served to underline the yard’s resurgence in the Grade Two feature at Ascot, drawing four lengths clear of Master Tommytucker under a peach of a ride from Brendan Powell.
It was the 24th winner of the season for trainer Colin Tizzard and son Joe – who is set to take over the licence from his father next year – following a brutal campaign which yielded just 37 winners.
“This wasn’t so much a relief, it was just that we had put a lot of hard work in to get this horse back to where he should be,” said Joe Tizzard.
“So, it was just nice to see him manage to do on the track what he was showing us at home. It was difficult to go in there full of confidence without a run under our belts, so it was lovely to see him do what he did.”
He added: “He has come out the race well and seems fine this morning – he’s trotted up A1 and it is just lovey to have him back.
“We knew he was in good form at home, but he just had to prove it on the track after a tough year with him last year. It was the perfect result, really. It could not have been any better. He galloped right through the line and this was a lovely stepping stone to try to get him back to his best.
“He bled in the King George, stopped really quickly in the Denman Chase at Newbury and pulled up in the Gold Cup, so he wasn’t himself last season. We were really struggling and couldn’t get to the bottom of it, but he has come in a much healthier horse this year and we are getting the benefits of it.”
However, the yard will keep a watching brief with the son of Flemensfirth, before deciding whether or not he will run in Kempton’s Christmas showpiece, with underfoot conditions a key factor. The Gold Cup, in which he was third in 2020, is the ultimate aim.
Tizzard added: “We won’t make a decision on the King George yet – he has an entry in it, but we want to get him back for the spring Festivals, including the Gold Cup, so we won’t do anything to jeopardise that and will see how it turns out. It is not set in stone.
“He loves bouncing off a bit of decent spring ground, so that’s something to weigh up, as it can be easy ground at that time of year.
“We have got plenty of time and we will tick him over for a couple of weeks and see how he comes out of this, then chat to the owners and make a plan from there.”