Colin Tizzard's Lostintranslation has been somewhat a forgotten horse in the Gold Cup betting market after his flop in the King George VI Chase at Kempton but he is now said to be back to his best and in for a real shot at landing the Grade One.
Lostintranslation was ran frequently last season and was changed around with what distance he was best at and it took until the final race of the season for Tizzard to finally get it right.
The seven-year-old raced six times throughout the season, putting in some stellar performances at 2 mile 3f to 2 mile 6f with a superb second behind Defi Du Seuil at Cheltenham in the JLT Novices Chase and also a good win in the Dipper Novices Chase earlier in the season at the same track.
However, his final contest of the season was at Aintree on his first step up to 3 miles 1 furlong in the Grade One Novices Chase and this was the race that put him in the 2020 Gold Cup frame.
He led all the way and when normally he was being outpaced, he revelled in the extra trip and put the field to shame including RSA Chase winner Topofthegame.
His prep for the Cheltenham feature has been very different this season to last year with the main aim always being the big one at the festival.
He went to Carlisle to start his season off and did it in expert style by punishing a lesser a field of runners, jumping superbly all the way round which saw him being moved into 8/1 from 14/1 for the Gold Cup.
His next test was the Betfair Chase in which he was taking on the hat-trick seeking Bristol De Mai that was favourite to take the spoils.
However, again he upset the odds and stayed on stoutly showing a gritty and determined nature to take his first Grade One contest of the season.
It was all systems go to the King George VI Chase in what would need another step up in the gears with a field consisting of last year’s winner Clan Des Obeaux and Cyrname who was fresh off the back of just beating the superstar that is Altior.
Lostintranslation showed us a side to him that backers of the horse for the Gold Cup will not want to see again, guessing at his fences, running in snatches and never travelling like he was ever going to win the race.
Subsequently Robbie Power pulled him up before the finish with Tizzard very much sceptical of his breathing after the race.
He has since undergone a wind operation and after drifting to 8/1 from 3/1 after his King George performance he has now sneaked back into around 6/1 and the way the Tizzard's have been talking about him he has to be on to watch.
(Credit Racing Post) Joe Tizzard, son and assistant to Colin, said: "He's a horse we've always held in high regard. The season was going perfectly after Haydock, but the wheels fell off a bit at Kempton. We haven't found a specific reason for it but he has had a soft palate [operation], that's something that had been mentioned before.
“Perhaps he had a harder race at Haydock than we thought, it may have left its toll a little. He had his wind done the following week and he hasn't missed a trick since then. He went away the week before last and that's put him really spot on. We're really happy with him, he's really come into himself at home. We've put heat lamps in his box, it's just a little bit of luxury for him.
"I quite like the fact things are a bit quiet with him, but we've got him back and he's doing all of his work well. We have't lost any faith in him, he's a big, powerful boy and I still wouldn't write him out of it.
"There's always that question with those extra two furlongs but if we had some genuine good to soft ground then I think he could just travel into it and be bang there at the last. He's got a live chance.”
The ground is set to be drying with an unusual spell with no rain set to take place in England and that will please Lostintranslation better than most in the Gold Cup field.
Tizzard added: "He's a big horse but he wouldn't mind the ground drying out. Robbie [Power, jockey] has always maintained that he'll be better on the top of the ground. He said that all through last season and he's saying it now.
"I don't mind if it's a dry week and we get to Friday and it's genuine good to soft. That would really suit him."