Robbie Power is confident leading Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Lostinstranslation can take his form to another level this season and mix it with the best staying chasers in training.
The Colin Tizzard-trained seven-year-old, who is short as 9-1 for the blue riband at the Festival in March, will revert back to two and half miles on his eagerly-awaited return in the Listed Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase at Carlisle on Sunday.
Finishing second on his first two Grade One starts over fences, Lostintranslation looked to be a potential star in the making when upped to three miles and a furlong in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree in April.
Power said: “Last season as a novice he was very good, as he kept the best of company and never ran a bad race all season.
“I’m looking forward to him coming back and it is a great starting point, the race at Carlisle.
“I’ve been excited about novices taking on the big boys the following season and sometimes they have disappointed, as it’s a massive big step and he has to improve to get to that level.
“He has the size and potential to have that improvement in him, so hopefully that improvement is there and he can take the step up to the next level and we can have a good season.”
While it was not until Lostintranslation stepped up in trip that he showed his true potential over fences, Power believes running over distances short of his best last season could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Power said: “He was a big, raw horse last season and you could have easily bottomed him out running him over three miles all season.
“It was a great decision to stick to two and a half by Colin and Joe (Tizzard), and the step up to three miles at Aintree on a bit of nice ground was perfect.”
Though the Gold Cup-winning rider has not ridden Lostintranslation in public in more than six months, he feels he has strengthened again over the summer after partnering him in a recent schooling session.
He added: “I was in a couple of weeks ago and I’ve schooled him already. He felt fantastic and he does feel that physically he has got stronger.
“Carlisle will be a good starting point for him, as he is taking that intermediate step, which should be ideal.”