Colin Tizzard, who is plotting victory in this month's Ladbrokes King George VI Chase with Lostintranslation, could soon have the race's namesake at Ascot on his mind as the former dairy farmer – famed for his love of staying chasers – has designs on making a splash on the Flat.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer has reached the summit of his profession in recent years, handling high-class talents such as Cue Card, Thistlecrack, Native River and now leading King George fancy Lostintranslation.
Tizzard has made little impact on the Flat, saddling just 14 runners under that code since he took out a full licence in 1998. However, new facilities on the family's 500-acre farm could soon change that.
"We always used to jest and say if you leave a horse here with me for more than 12 months it will end up as a slow three-miler, but that can't be true with our new gallops," said Tizzard, who was in fine form when he entertained the media at a King George event at his Dorset base on Tuesday.
"It's in the back of our minds to have some Flat horses and I like the idea of what Willie Mullins does, getting ex-Flat horses and running them over hurdles and then back on the Flat – it's got to be a lovely way of doing business.
Colin Tizzard: Flat statistics
(Year, winners/runners, total earnings)
2004 0/8 – £421
2018 0/2 – £0
2019 0/4 – £1,340
Royal Ascot runner: Tempestatefloresco (tenth, 2018 Queen Alexandra Stakes)
"We haven't got into the Flat at all, but that's not to say we won't one day. We've got an agent in Ross Doyle who knows a bit about it so we wouldn't need to look very far for help knowing what to buy if someone wanted to do it.
"This yard has developed all the time and I'm sure one way we'd go is to look at something like that."
Three smart dual-purpose Willie Mullins horses
Few horses have a CV like the late Wicklow Brave, who started life a well-beaten ninth in a Punchestown bumper. He progressed nicely as a jumper, winning the 2015 County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival before upsetting Order Of St George in the following year's Irish St Leger. In 2017, he scored an elite jumps victory in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle and was a Graded winner over fences before his death this year.
A product off the Flat from France, the son of Great Journey won first time out over hurdles at Thurles in 2014, but failed to perhaps hit the heights expected in that code. Returned to the Flat the next year, he won the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup at York and was a fine second in the Melbourne Cup under Frankie Dettori. He failed to justify favouritism in the 2017 Galway Hurdle but put up a bold show to finish third in the Melbourne Cup.
The ex-John Gosden inmate cost Mullins and chief scout Harold Kirk £240,000 at the sales and developed into a useful novice hurdler, winning a Grade 2 at Warwick, but more fun was to be had back on the Flat with victory in the 2017 Ascot Stakes at the royal meeting. A Doncaster Cup verdict over Max Dynamite a season later was another highlight as was this summer's victory back over jumps in the Grade 3 Grimes Hurdle.