Every year at the Cheltenham Festival we see surprise winners, but a genuine outsider winning the Gold Cup is a rare occurrence. With the 2021 Festival looming, one horse hoping to upset the odds when it comes to the Cheltenham showpiece is Lostintranslation. Priced at around 14/1 in the Gold Cup odds, it would be wrong to suggest it would be a total shock if Lostintranslation emerged the victor, but with an indifferent overall record at the Cheltenham Festival, and without a win since November 2019, the form guide says that the Colin Tizzard-trained horse is unlikely to bust any coupons come March 19th.
That said, the quality Lostinstranslation has shown at different stages in his career means that the nine-year-old cannot be entirely discounted. Coming from the same stable as 2018 Gold Cup champion Native River, there’s no doubt that Tizzard and his crew have what it takes to make Lostintranslation a Gold Cup champion too. There was a spell following the 2019 Cheltenham Festival where the gelding won three races on the spin, but sustained success in the time since has been hard to come by.
Indeed, it’s fair to say that most of Tizzard’s preparations for the Gold Cup will be focused on Native River, who will be seeking to regain the famous trophy. But sometimes the lack of attention on a horse can be a trainer’s greatest asset, and there’s no doubt that Tizzard and co. will be doing their utmost to have Lostintranslation in the best possible shape ahead of the Gold Cup.
King George VI Chase in December saw Lostintranslation pull up after suffering a bursting blood vessel – a worrying sight for trainer and punters alike, but the road to recovering surely ends with another shot at the Gold Cup. Last year’s Cheltenham showpiece saw Lostintranslation finish third behind Al Boum Photo and Santini, which was a fine performance given his pre-race odds of 10/1. While the year since hasn’t exactly gone to plan, it’s clear that there is quality buried underneath ready to burst forth in the form of a major victory.
Joe Tizzard, son and assistant to Colin, was certainly confident after King George that Lostintranslation has more to give. “Plenty of horses have bled and then go and run well afterward,” he said. “He has never done that at home or anything. But horses bleed from time to time, and we have just got to get him back. He hasn’t performed the last two and he needs to bounce back, but it’s certainly possible that he can.”
There are few tougher races than the Gold Cup, but perhaps racing alongside familiar foes will help Lostintranslation discover something of his old form. Pre-race favorite Al Boum Photo will take some stopping, as will the likes of A Plus Tard, Royal Pagaille, Champ, and Kemboy, but the important thing for Losintranslation is to stick to his guns and remain close to the leaders, as he did last year to seal a third-place finish.
While the headlines from Tizzard’s stable may surround Native River throughout the race to Cheltenham, it may well suit Lostintranslation to go under the radar on his quest to recover his reputation at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.