Colin Tizzard used to combine dairy farming with training National Hunt horses. He has had some wonderful chasers in his care including Cue Card, Thistlecrack and Native River. Those three horses have won races at the highest level but Lostintranslation could prove to be the best horse Tizzard has trained. If Lostintranslation wins the King George V1 Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, he only needs to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup to secure a million pound bonus.
The bonus is on offer for any horse that can win the three most prestigious staying conditions chases of the season which are the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November and the King George and Gold Cup. No horse has won the bonus but Cue Card and Native River have won the three qualifying races between them under the care of Tizzard. Lostintranslation faces a tough nut to crack in the King George in Cyrname, the highest rated chaser in training.
Tizzard has held a trainer’s licence since 1998. He was originally a Somerset farmer with a large herd of cows. The trainer has had 17 major wins in Grade 1’s but his first success at the highest level was in 2013. Tizzard has gradually spent more time training horses than looking after his cows. His flag bearer for several years was Cue Card who won the Champion Bumper in 2010, the Ryanair Chase four years later and the King George in 2015. Native River won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2018.
The trainer specialises in steeplechasers even though Thistlecrack won the Stayers’ Hurdle in 2016. Kilbriken Storm was trained by Tizzard when he won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2018. Here are Tizzard’s stats for the five seasons from April 2015 to the current season which ends at the end of April 2020 (as at December 19th, 2019):
|Colin Tizzard Stats||Runs||Wins||Strike rate||Prizemoney|
|National Hunt flat (NHF)||130||6||5%||£45,947|
In terms of win and place prize money, Tizzard’s three best seasons are 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18. He is on course to win about £1.5 million this season and Lostintranslation could well be his biggest earner.
However, the million pound bonus does not count as official prize money so the bonus will not appear in the trainer’s championship table. Tizzard does not have the numbers to compete with Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls for the trainer’s title.
The Tizzards know what it takes to win the King George and Lostintranslation ticks most of the boxes. Colin’s son and assistant Joe said in the Racing Post this week: “He’s (Lostintranslation) got everything. We’re not concerned about having the pace and his jumping is excellent, but we know we are in a big race on Boxing Day as Cyrname’s not going to lie down and be beaten easily. We think he’s capable of taking the next step and he’s the only horse involved in the bonus at the moment”.
Thistlecrack is also an intended runner for Tizzard in the King George. He has run in the race three times, winning it in 2016 and finishing in the first four in two other years. Thistlecrack was second last year when a length and a half adrift of Clan Des Obeaux.
However, if Colin Tizzard is to win his third King George this year, it should be with Lostintranslation and then all roads lead to Cheltenham and a chance to win one million pounds for connections in the Gold Cup.