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Last Updated: 10/02/13 6:00pm
Melodic Rendezvous: An impressive winner
Melodic Rendezvous ran out an impressive winner of the Bathwick Tyres Plymouth Novices' Hurdle at Exeter.
Oliver Sherwood's Puffin Billy was sent off the odds-on favourite after impressively winning all four career starts but it was the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle winner who prevailed in the two mile one Listed contest.
Both runners were held-up at the rear of the five runner field as High Ville took them along, with Nick Scholfield aboard the eventual winner shadowing the favourite throughout.
The pair rapidly pulled clear of the remainder as they turned into the straight with Scholfield still tracking Leighton Aspell and Puffin Billy who had raced a shade keenly early on.
A slight mistake at the second last suggested that the writing was on the wall for Puffin Billy but Scholfield waited until the last before producing his mount and Melodic Rendezvous quickened clear in good fashion when given his head.
The race has been won by some smart performers in the past including My Way De Solzen, Spirit Son and Noland with the last pair going on to finish second and first in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham respectively.
Jeremy Scott's charge was slashed to 8/1 (from 12s) for that contest by Sky Bet.
The Leeds firm also make the winner 10/1 from 20/1 for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle and eased Puffin Billy out to 14s from 9/1 for the same contest.
"The ground is very deep and Puffin Billy looked to get very tired on it. He's only five and my chap is seven and he coped with it better today," Scholfield told Racing UK.
"We were thinking about the two mile race at Cheltenham but today we look to have oustayed the others. We were leaning towards Supreme before today but he's in the Neptune too and we'll see what the ground is before making a decision."
Puffin Billy was later found to have finished lame with the trainer's wife, Tarnya, tweeting: "Leighton was unhappy with Puffin Billy during the race today and he has been pronounced lame by vets @ExeterRaces."