Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai remain on course for a Haydock rematch after all five horses confirmed for Saturday’s Betfair Chase stood their ground at the declaration stage.
Colin Tizzard’s Lostintranslation denied the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol De Mai a hat-trick in a thrilling renewal of the Grade 1 contest 12 months ago – and is the narrow favourite to repeat the feat on his first start since finishing third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
Bristol De Mai could finish only ninth in the blue riband eight months ago, but can be expected to make more of a race of it on his return to Merseyside, where he has won four of his five starts.
Clan Des Obeaux was fourth behind Bristol De Mai in the 2018 Betfair Chase before going on to seal the first of two victories in the King George VI Chase at Kempton.
The Boxing Day highlight is again top of the eight-year-old’s agenda, although trainer Paul Nicholls has been making bullish noises about his chances on Saturday.
Clan Des Obeaux is bidding to add to the Ditcheat handler’s haul of six Betfair Chase wins – four of those provided by the magnificent Kauto Star.
Bellshill landed the Punchestown Gold Cup and the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown when trained by Willie Mullins.
However, the son of King’s Theatre lost his form last season and would be a surprise winner on his debut for Berwickshire-based Sandy Thomson at the age of 10.
The quintet is completed by Warren Greatrex’s outsider Keeper Hill, who does at least have the benefit of a recent outing, having finished fourth behind Clan Des Obeaux’s esteemed stable companion Cyrname in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby three weeks ago.