Cyrname could win the next battle, but Lostintranslation is tipped to win the war. The two best chasers in the country are fancied to win the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day and the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March respectively. Wins for both horses in Grade 1 chases on Saturday have set up a new order in the chasing division. Cyrname is more a King George horse on the evidence of the form and Lostintranslation ticks more boxes in the context of the Gold Cup, which is the steeplechase that matters most.
Lostintranslation was an impressive winner of the Betfair Chase at Haydock. The race was run over three miles, one and a half furlongs on a left-handed track. It was a true test of stamina and the Colin Tizzard-trained horse had enough in the tank to beat Bristol De Mai by one and a half lengths. The race track and conditions suggest Lostintranslation is tailor made for the Gold Cup. The New Course at Cheltenham is left-handed and the race is run over three miles and two furlongs.
Cyrname’s defeat of Altior by two and a quarter lengths at Ascot pointed to the horse relishing a test of speed more than stamina. Ascot is a flat, right-handed course, as is Kempton, so the King George is a more realistic target than the Gold Cup. Altior was unbeaten over fences before the Christy 1965 Chase but never looked like over-hauling Cyrname, which recorded a pillar-to-post win. Cyrname and Lostintranslation are now a combined price of -125 with online bookmakers for the King George.
There is a £1 million pound bonus up for grabs for any horse that wins the Betfair Chase, King George and Gold Cup in the same season. Kauto Star achieved just that in 2006-07, but there was no bonus then. Cue Card won the first two legs in 2015-16 but fell four out when looking a potential winner of the Gold Cup. Cue Card is trained by Tizzard, who may feel he is owed the bonus. Lostintranslation is now the only horse in contention, but the King George looks a tough ask.
Altior was well beaten by Cyrname at Ascot and his future target is undecided. The horse is still quoted in the ante-post betting for the King George, but connections may feel they cannot beat Cyrname over two miles and five furlongs and beyond. A return to two miles looks likely, as Altior has won the last two Champion Chases over that distance. The trainer may have been mistaken in believing Altior needs further at this stage of his career.
Bristol De Mai had won the previous two Betfair Chases. The horse clearly relishes Haydock and the race conditions. He ran to the line in Saturday’s renewal but was beaten by a better horse. Bristol De Mai had the track and going to suit, but Lostintranslation had a little bit in hand at the line. The horse is more suited to the Gold Cup than the King George, but it is debatable whether Bristol De Mai can reverse the form with Lostintranslation. That horse is a worthy favourite for the Cheltenham feature.
Cyrname and Lostintranslation are now at the top of the chasing tree in Britain and Ireland. Both horses found something extra to lower the colours of Altior and Bristol De Mai. The two remaining championship staying chases of the season are the King George and Gold Cup. Cyrname is the tip for the former, while Lostintranslation should be backed to win the latter.