LOSTINTRANSLATION POWERS INTO THE 2020 GOLD CUP RECKONING
Robbie Power is a man who knows a thing or two about top class racehorses. He won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2017 on Sizing John and the Grand National in 2007 on Silver Birch.
So when he wins a Grade One at Aintree on Ladies Day, hops off and casually says he could be the best horse he’s ever sat on then it’s worth listening.
Lostintranslation won the Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase comfortably enough, defeating odds on favourite and Cheltenham Festival winner Topofthegame. Shrewd punters already looking ahead to next year’s Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup will have noted Lostintranslation being shortened to 10-1 to land the biggest prize of them all in 2020.
And, with a proven track record in the race, trainer Colin Tizzard could be forgiven for already wishing the next 11 months away.
MIN THE MERCILESS TOO CLASSY FOR THE REST
It’s hard to imagine many horses winning by a bigger distance and with more in the tank than Min did here on day two.
Ruby Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins have had their ups and downs with Rich Ricci’s two mile chaser. But as he eased to a 20-length win in the JLT Steeplechase (or The Melling if you prefer) all those missed opportunities were forgiven.
Ruby won’t have many more satisfying winners this season and, after his excellent performance with Kemboy 24 hours earlier, will be hoping Rathvinden can round his week off in style in the big one.
JP FINDS HIMSELF YET ANOTHER CHAMP
Racehorse owner JP McManus and legendary jockey Sir AP McCoy shared many, many moments they will never forget during the latter’s 20 year career in the saddle.
McCoy acquired the nickname ‘Champ’ by winning the Champion Jump Jockeys’ title a record 20 seasons on the bounce – every year he was a professional.
JP – whose horses run in the famous green and gold hoops – has been waiting for the perfect horse to run in the name ‘Champ’ and it seems he has found him.
Barry Geraghty was forced to miss the ride due to an injury in a previous race, but Mark Walsh took advantage by steering Champ home to win the Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.
It remains to be seen as to whether trainer Nicky Henderson sends him over the bigger obstacles next season. But the odds on him winning at The Festival next March were tumbling before he had even made his way back to the winners’ enclosure here.
IRISH EYES SMILING ON LADIES DAY
It might not have the same kind of Britain vs Ireland rivalry that the Prestbury Cup serves up at the Cheltenham Festival but day two of the Randox Health Grand National Festival certainly had its moments.
Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy combined twice in half an hour to win the first two races of the day with Three Musketeers and Felix Desjy for Ireland.
And, although Dorset-based Tizzard replied immediately with Lostintranslation in the Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase, Willie Mullins took races four and five with Min and Cadmium to reinforce Ireland’s stranglehold on the day.
Race six went to Britain as Nicky Henderson’s classy Champ made amends for a second place at Cheltenham last month and Paul Nicholls made the score more respectable by taking the last with McFabulous.
In truth the Irish-British rivalry is all a sideshow at Aintree. What really matters is where the Grand National trophy is heading come 5.30pm on Saturday.
FROST REPORT – BRYONY MADE FOR A CAREER ON THE BOX
At 23 years young no-one should be thinking about the day Bryony Frost hangs up her breeches.
However, the disappointment at seeing one of Britain’s most exciting jockeys missing out on a ride in the Grand National ebbed away a little once ITV Racing’s coverage began.
Frost was here, there and everywhere as the ITV team got every pennies’ worth as she worked right across the course to help host the programme with Ed Chamberlin, Francesca Cumani and Sir AP McCoy.
Social media fans praised the Jockey Club Racecourses ambassador’s easygoing style and the way she conveyed her knowledge and expertise on camera.
The good news is she’s back with the ITV team on Grand National day. The bad news is she’s not back in the saddle after fracturing her collarbone just yet.