Ascot Saturday

THE Grade 2 Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase saw 4/1 chance Lostintranslation (Colin Tizzard/Brendan Powell) put a torrid 2020/21 season behind him as he stayed on strongly from off the pace to collar Master Tommytucker (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden) after the last, after that rival had got the better of a protracted duel for the lead with Dashel Drasher (Jeremy Scott/Rex Dingle). The margins were four lengths and 12 lengths.

Lostinstranslation looked the best British-trained Gold Cup prospect a year ago, but his yard never really got going, and he was reportedly one of the worst affected by the malaise which affected the Tizzard team, pulling up in the King George and Gold Cup and well held in his two completed starts.

Return to form

It was most pleasing to see him put such disappointments behind him, and while he was suited by the weights of this contest, this represented a return to form if not quite a return to his absolute best, which saw him win the 2019 Betfair Chase and finish a close third to Al Boum Photo in the Gold Cup.

He could have another crack at the King George next month, although connections are understandably taking things one race at a time, and he’s now flopped twice in that contest, albeit with excuses coming forward retrospectively.

Master Tommytucker ran up to his best in second, and is best in these small-field graded races, of which there is a good supply through the season.

Dashel Drasher lost his unbeaten Ascot record, jumping out to his left at times, and will be better on softer ground, and he ought to be at least as good the other way round, his excellent record at the track at odds with his tendency to correct to his left at his fences.

“Lostintranslation is a horse who was clearly wrong last year, and we couldn’t pinpoint it,” said Joe Tizzard. “We just couldn’t get to the bottom of it. He’s not a horse who bleeds, but bled terrible in the King George and he had a job to complete a race last season.


“Today was the comeback and if it didn’t work, we were scratching our heads. We’ve got to keep him right for the spring, but he’s entered in the King George, and we always thought that would be perfect for him before.

“We’ll see how he is and make a plan, while he loves spring ground, which is a key factor if the rain comes.

“We’ll be gearing to the spring and the Gold Cup, but the King George is there if he’s right.”

Buzz lays down Stayers’ marker

EVEN-MONEY favourite Buzz (Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville) was expected to add to his impressive win in the Cesarewitch, and he made his fitness count as he took care of last year’s winner Song For Someone (Tom Symonds/Aidan Coleman) in the Grade 2 Coral (Ascot) Hurdle. He dug deep to come away from that rival on the flat to score by three and a quarter lengths with the well-supported Guard Your Dreams (Nigel/Sam Twiston-Davies) two and a quarter lengths back in third.

Solid pace

As usual, Song For Someone led at a solid pace on his season return (had a wind operation since flopping at Aintree in April) and was only headed approaching the last, from which point he could find no extra.

Song For Someone and Goshen briefly flattered around this point, but neither saw the race out especially well, and it was the class and stamina of Buzz which carried the day.

Given he stayed the two and a quarter miles of the Cesarewitch, many feel that Buzz could develop into a contender for the Stayers’ Hurdle this season, but it’s well worth remembering that Henderson also won the Cesarewitch with both Landing Light and Caracciola, neither of whom stayed any further over hurdles than they did on the flat.

That said, the relative weakness of the staying division means it certainly seems worthwhile to give him a chance, a thought which has not been lost on the winning handler.

“Buzz will come back here for the Long Walk Hurdle before Christmas, and we’ll find out about three miles,” said Henderson. “I wanted to start at two and a half and he travelled and jumped so well, but you would not want to come back down in distance. There’s no point coming back to two miles and there’s nothing at two and a half, so we’ll try three.”

Hughes in the clear for title

BRIAN Hughes looks well on his way to a second jockeys’ championship, with the Armagh man booting home winners with metronomic regularity.

103 winners

He hit his century for the season earlier in the week, and at the time of writing has 103 winners to his name since May, putting him 43 ahead of nearest rival Sam Twiston-Davies.

Simple task for My Sister Sarah

WILLIE Mullins rarely sends one to Kempton unless there’s a turkey drumstick on offer for the lad, so it was intriguing to see My Sister Sarah rock up at the Sunbury Track on Monday for a listed mares’ hurdle.

Ridden by Nico de Boinville, she made the journey worthwhile by scoring impressively by seven lengths from Dragon Bones, who had been second to John McConnell’s Bardenstown Lad at Cheltenham in October.