Owner Garth Broom believes Remastered has the potential to fill the void left by 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River by striking gold for the first time this season in the Grade Two Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock Park on Saturday.
Broom and his wife Anne, who operate as Brocade Racing, are seeking a new flagbearer to carry their silks following the retirement of Native River at the end of 2021.
Since making an encouraging return to action over hurdles at Aintree in early November, the David Pipe-trained Remastered has fallen in the Grade Three Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury and finished second in last month’s Virgin Bet Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase at Haydock Park.
Although things have not quite panned out as expected so far this season for the nine year old, who holds an entry in the Cheltenham Gold Cup at The Festival™, Broom is confident he can return to the sort of form that saw him win three of his four starts over fences last season in Saturday’s extended 3m 1f contest. The Peter Marsh Chase forms part of a seven-race card with £294,000 on offer - a record for this raceday.
Broom said: “I am pretty confident he could end up being our flagbearer but he has still got to find another 20lb to be a serious contender for the top races.
“We are getting 17lbs off Royale Pagaille and that is why we are going to Haydock as opposed to running off level weights at Lingfield.
“He has got 10st 7lbs which is a nice racing weight so hopefully he can perform well receiving that weight.
“I think he is an improving horse and hopefully he will find enough improvement to be a serious contender on Saturday. David (Pipe) thinks there is improvement to come as well.
“He had a fantastic time last season. I don’t think he quite stayed the trip in the National Hunt Chase but as it turns out that was a pretty hot race and he still ran well there.
“The race last time possibly came a little bit quick for him and I felt he was probably 90 per cent that day. I am hoping he will be 100 per cent on Saturday.
“I think we have found out that he is not really as dependant on really heavy ground like he used to be and that gives us a bit more to play with regarding the ground. It is just a case of keeping our fingers crossed now.”
Looking beyond his next assignment, Broom insists that a decision on which route Remastered takes for the rest of the campaign will depend on how he performs at the weekend.
Broom continued: “We put him in the Gold Cup as he ran a cracker in the Ladbrokes Trophy before he fell and then he was giving more than a stone away to the winner when he was beaten last time.
“We have been slightly frustrated this season as we thought he would be a bit further forward than he was but we are lucky to still have him as we thought for a moment we had lost him at Newbury.
“We will make a decision after Saturday whether to continue down the Gold Cup route or whether we go for something else.
“I said to David and Tom (Scudamore, jockey) I need to find you a Gold Cup winner but Remastered would have to win by 10 lengths to go down that route. We will just take it a race at a time.”
While Broom is looking forward to seeing Remastered back in action he admits it was “emotional” making the decision to retire Native River, who insists he could have re-homed “50 times over” after calling time on the popular gelding’s long and successful career last month after he was pulled-up in the Welsh National at Chepstow.
He said: “It was very emotional retiring Native River. We let him have his ground for a couple of runs and he wasn’t really enjoying it so we thought that’s the time to go with him.
“He was so good to handle and he always ran with his heart on his sleeve. He didn’t know how to run a bad race.
“We have had plenty of offers from all over the country asking about him for doing things like dressage and we could have re-homed him 50 times over. Richard Johnson (former jockey who rode Native River to victory in the 2018 Gold Cup) rang us up to thank us for letting him ride him.
“We are going to really miss him but he is only about two miles down the road as he is going to be at Tom Malone’s.
“They want to parade him at Newbury with Altior before the Denman Chase then he will come back to Tom’s.
“It will be great for us as we can then pop and see him all the time.”