Lostintranslation displayed a willing attitude to claim top honours in the Betbright Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.
Colin Tizzard’s charge was placed behind La Bague Au Roi on his first two starts over fences at Newbury in November, form that was well advertised when Warren Greatrex’s top-class mare completed her hat-trick in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Lostintranslation was a 3-1 shot for his latest Grade Two assignment and set out to make all the running under Robbie Power.
Some quick and accurate leaps kept the pressure on his three rivals, but Defi Du Seuil looked to have his measure when moving to the lead between the final two fences.
However, Lostintranslation was not done with and rallied on the run-in to get back up and score by a length and a quarter.
Tom George’s Grade One-winning hurdler Black Op was a further six away in third, but 9-4 favourite On The Blind Side was bitterly disappointing.
Nicky Henderson’s inmate was admittedly making his first competitive appearance since last April and his debut over fences in a strong contest, but he was in trouble from an early stage and never threatened to land a blow.
Tizzard said: “We all know what Defi Du Seuil has done before, but my horse does look like a stayer now.
“He’s a beautiful, big, old-fashioned chaser and I’m sure he’ll be going up in distance a bit more.
“I was amazed when he got beat at Newbury (on his first run over fences) as he did everything right, but the one that beat him was La Bague Au Roi and next time he made a helluva mistake.
“He showed a good attitude today and when he got in tight he was good at the fences.
“He could be our next good one, I think. We’ve been blessed to have Cue Card, Thistlecrack and Native River and this one is right in the same groove ability-wise as they were at this stage of their career.”
The Dorset handler raised the possibility of Lostintranslation making his next appearance in the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown in February.
He added: “It was quite interesting to hear Robbie Power saying he should be a JLT horse (rather than RSA Chase), but for me, it looked like his stamina kicked in.
“The owner said we ought to think about going to Leopardstown. That’s news to me, but it’s a long time before the Cheltenham Festival and I would think he’ll run again.
“We’ll have a look at Leopardstown, but it’s just lovely to win here today.
“He’s a lovely creature and hopefully he can go on and run in a Gold Cup one day.”