Lostintranslation can beat a small but select field including previous winner Bristol de Mai and two-time King George winner Clan Des Obeaux, to land a fascinating Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.

The race, inaugurated in 2005, has been run 15 times. A pattern quickly established, due to the nature of the track, is that it suits some horses more than others and lends itself to multiple winners. Indeed just three horses, Kingscliff, Snoopy Loopy and Imperial Commander have won it only once which augurs well for Colin Tizzard’s 2019 winner.

Bristol de Mai used to be half a stone better at Haydock than anywhere else. His 57 length defeat of Cue Card in 2017 earned him the highest chasing rating in the country but his win in 2018 was also his last win although his second in this race last year after an interrupted preparation was probably his best run of the season.

After winning it last year Lostintranslation subsequently disappointed in the King George but returned to form after a wind operation in the Gold Cup when a length and a half third to Al Boum Photo.

“He’s in beautiful form,” said Colin Tizzard on Friday. “He had an away day two weeks ago, we’ve had no hiccups. We contemplated taking him away again but didn’t think it was necessary. I think they’ve got us to beat.”

Bristol de Mai would be helped if the forecast rain substantially deepens the ground. “He has had a smooth run this time which he didn’t last year,” said Nigel Twiston-Davies’s assistant Carl Llewellyn on Friday. “He’s in very good form.”

Neither trainer has been firing on all cylinders quite like Paul Nicholls, trainer of Clan Des Obeaux. There is a suggestion the Kempton specialist is better going right-handed but he won a graduation chase at Haydock in the early days and a flat track is probably more important than which direction it goes in.

However, though Nicholls will have him super-fit and said as much earlier in the week, the evidence is that he usually improves from his first start and his main aim has to be Kempton on Boxing Day.

The last time Bellshill won he was ridden by Ruby Walsh but, now owned by David Armstrong and Lee Westwood, respective club captain and professional at Close House in the north-east, he is having his first start for Sandy Thomson.

A change of scenery cannot be underestimated in re-invigorating some horses even though his trainer is under no illusions about Saturday’s task.

My betting system of the moment is to back anything owned by Trevor Hemmings after his downsizing autumn clear-out on the presumption that he only kept his best horses. We can test that theory with Deise Alba in the (ironically, given that systems rarely work, named) Betfair Supports Safer Gambling Week Handicap Chase.

Ascot is not exactly flushed for runners on Saturday but Nicholls and stable jockey Harry Cobden have winning chances with Real Steel in Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase and Laurina in the Coral Hurdle. Both horses are having their first start for the trainer after leaving Willie Mullins in the summer.

Friday’s Bahrain International went to the locally trained Simsir, ridden by Lee Newman whose local knowledge of the track helped him steal the £500,000 prize. He just held off Global Giant and Sovereign. Deirdre and Hollie Doyle were eighth.