Dreams can come true. With a scintillating burst of speed after the last hurdle, dreams were made for Jeremy Sott, stable lad Steve Croft and the connections of Melodic Rendezvous as their stunning seven year old powered away for a comfortable success in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown Park.
Not since the exceptional staying prowess of Gone To Lunch have the Scott Stable had a shining light quite good enough to challenge in the Grade 1 events, yet Melodic Rendezvous has installed excitement and hope in a yard which will look forward with both anticipation and belief to the tantalising proposition of taking on the very best of the Nicholls, Mullins and Henderson yards come March.
For Scott, the progression of Melodic Rendezvous was, in as honest as he can be, a surprise. Open when speaking to the press, Scott is clear that two years ago you would not have believed that Melodic Rendezvous would make into the star he has now become. Now, despite failing to land the odds in his pipe opener of the season as a short-priced favourite, Melodic Rendezvous has won two on the bounce, providing Jeremy Sott and jockey Nick Schofield with their first ever Grade 1 winners.
The love that stable lad Steven Croft has for his friend, 'Melodic', is plain for all to see. Whilst the love between a horse and his/her lad or lass is generally expected, it is evident from his posts and retweets upon the social networking sites that Croft would give everything for his friend and pal. With Melodic Rendezvous awarded the prize for best turned out and the words 'Come home safe' echoed from Croft, it is clear that, although winning is the ultimate prize, a bonus so to speak, a performance where Melodic Rendezvous can be proud of his achievements would be enough for Croft.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Having readily accounted for Nicky Henderson's Royal Boy last time out, it is now baffling that Melodic Rendezvous only received enough respect from the betting public to become the third-choice at 7/2 behind the Henderson horse.
With his jumping letting him down, Royal Boy was to be reeled in by Melodic Rendezvous heading towards the second last flight of hurdles and, despite a battle over the final flight with Charlie Longsdon's Pendra, Melodic Rendezvous kicked on towards the line to readily account for his other rivals.
Poet, whom has once given 2010 Epsom Derby winner, Workforce, a fright on the flat at Sandown Park, had been spoken of as a potential Champion Hurdle challenger this Spring. However, an out of sorts performance from the John Francombe owned gelding has seemingly put paid to those hopes for the time being.
Royal Boy, who led for the majority of the race, was seen finishing third. A step up in trip for the French bred gelding is expected in his next start.