Cheltenham Festival: 3 things learned at the weekend as Goshen better than ever

Timeform think Remastered, Goshen and Champ were impressive ahead of the four-day fiesta at Prestbury Park.

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Remastered is one to consider for the National Hunt Chase

Remastered will have a host of options at the Cheltenham Festival following his win in the Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot on Saturday, but stamina and sound jumping look like his best assets, so the National Hunt Chase could be the most suitable target.

Remastered failed to win when campaigned in handicap hurdles last season, but he is a chaser on looks and has duly raised his game since going over fences, winning on all three outings this term. He looked vulnerable when Demachine loomed up at the second-last on Saturday but found plenty for pressure, showing deep reserves of stamina and a willing attitude to forge four lengths clear of a progressive rival who remains one to be positive about.

The Timeform rating of 148 that Remastered earned leaves him something to find with Galvin (154p) and is a long way shy of what Royal Pagaille (163p) has achieved but he will be well suited by the demands of the National Hunt Chase and is one to consider at a big price if trainer David Pipe elects to go down that road.



Goshen is better than ever

Goshen had looked like a huge talent during his first season over hurdles, effortlessly winning three juvenile events before unseating at the final flight in the Triumph Hurdle with the race at his mercy. However, his two subsequent performances on the Flat, when beaten at short prices, had been underwhelming and his failure to beat a rival in the International Hurdle, after which he was found to be suffering from a fibrillating heart, raised concerns about whether he would be able to fulfil his potential.

He certainly got back on track in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on Saturday, though, slamming his rivals by 22 lengths and earning a Timeform rating of 163, the highest in the hurdling division. Goshen will need to find extra in the Champion Hurdle to successfully concede 7lb to Epatante (157) and Honeysuckle (160), but his performance at Wincanton was certainly encouraging and demonstrated that he is firing on all cylinders again.

    Champ advances his Cheltenham Gold Cup claims

    The Game Spirit is designed as a prep for the Champion Chase, but there was a much bigger Cheltenham Gold Cup clue on offer in the latest renewal at Newbury on Sunday. Champ was making his belated seasonal reappearance in a two-mile contest that looked likely to present too much a test of speed, but he offered plenty of encouragement in finishing a two-length runner-up to Sceau Royal, understandably being cut (to 6/1 from 10/1) for the Gold Cup as a consequence.

    Champ had stayed on strongly up the Cheltenham hill to win the three-mile RSA Chase on his final start last season, so it is to his credit that he proved so competitive over two miles on his first outing since undergoing a wind operation. His jumping, which hasn’t always been fluent, held up well to the test, and he is entitled to improve for a run that always looked like a stepping stone to the main goal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

    *Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.

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