Lostintranslation going straight to Cheltenham in hunt for Gold
Lostintranslation is set to head straight for the Cheltenham Gold Cup following his below-par performance in the King George VI Chase.
Connections of the Colin Tizzard-trained gelding remain unable to fully identify why Lostintranslation was not himself at Kempton on St Stephen's Day, where he was pulled up three fences from the finish, but hope a subsequent soft palate operation will help.
Lostintranslation had staked a strong claim for the Gold Cup with victory in the Betfair Chase at Haydock a month earlier - and while an outing in next month's Denman Chase at Newbury was mooted, he is now unlikely to run again before the blue riband in March.
"We've just gone easy with him and he's had his flu jab. There's nothing that has particularly come out of the race that would say that is the reason (for the run)," Joe Tizzard, assistant to his father, said.
"He had an off-day. Whether Haydock took more out of him than perhaps we thought, it's hard to tell, but all his work leading up to Kempton was very good.
"It's our job now to get him back and get him 100 per cent for the Gold Cup. It would be nice to point at something and say that was the reason, but we haven't got that, so we'll just freshen him up and I don't think we will run him before the Gold Cup.
"We can do plenty at home and just maybe take him for a couple of racecourse gallops and freshen him right up for March."
Abacadabras is one of four potential runners for Gordon Elliott in the Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on Sunday. The six-year-old has won three of his four starts over hurdles to date, with his only defeat coming at the hands of his esteemed stablemate Envoi Allen in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse in early December.
Abacadabras has since gone one better at Grade One level in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown and has been given the option of turning out again in a two-mile Grade Two his trainer won last season with Felix Desjy.
Elliott could also run Andy Dufresne, who suffered an odds-on reverse in the Navan Novice Hurdle on his last outing.
The exciting Easywork and Run Wild Fred complete the Cullentra quartet. Elliott said: "Both Easywork and Andy Dufresne ran over two and a half miles last time but they could easily come back in trip.
"We have also given Abacadabras an entry and we'll just see how the horses come through their work this week and make a decision on who goes where."
Willie Mullins has saddled no less than seven previous winners of the Moscow Flyer, with Mikael D'Haguenet (2009), Vautour (2014) and Douvan (2015) all claiming this prize on the way to success at the Cheltenham Festival.
This year the champion trainer has entered Blackbow, the prolific Janidil and Tiger Tap Tap.
Joseph O'Brien has Anything Will Do and Meticulous in contention, with Henry de Bromhead's Captain Guinness, Karl Thornton's Shanroe and The Little Yank from John Ryan's yard completing the 12-strong field.