Melodic Rendezvous heads towards a hugely impressive win at ExeterPICTURE: Getty Images
Melodic Rendezvous grounds Puffin Billy
Report: Exeter, Sunday
Bathwick Tyres Plymouth Novices' Hurdle (Listed) 2m1f, 4yo+
MELODIC RENDEZVOUS threw down a serious marker at Exeter on Sunday as he dealt out a comprehensive beating to the promising Puffin Billy.
The Jeremy Scott-trained Tolworth winner was cut by Paddy Power to 8-1 (from 16) for the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham. Hills went 7-1 (from 16) for the Supreme and 8-1 (from 14) for the Neptune, for which BetVictor offer 12-1 (from 20).
He looked a force to be reckoned with as he brushed aside the challenge of Puffin Billy with a punishing burst of pace after the final flight of hurdles.
Jockey Nick Scholfield opted to track Oliver Sherwood's Puffin Billy through the early stages and as Leighton Aspell, riding the 4-5 favourite, went to pick up the lead down the back Scholfield continued stalking him every step of the way.
Turning for home the pair had gone a long way clear of the rest but Aspell was unable to shake off the attentions of Melodic Rendezvous, and at the second last an erratic jump almost ended his partnership with Puffin Billy.
The partnership survived intact but they were no match for Melodic Rendezvous, who shot several lengths clear on the run-in.
Scott said: "Obviously that was a very pleasing performance and I would like to be thinking he is improving with each race.
"As far as Cheltenham is concerned he is in the Supreme and the Neptune novice hurdles and we will be deciding closer to the time about which one he runs in, but it will be ground dependent."
Puffin Billy was inspected by vets following his defeat and found to be lame.