Scott ready to let Rendezvous fulfil appointment with best


At the time, it seemed tempting to doubt the form. After all, the runners had splashed over a course that might sooner have staged a regatta than a Grade One bumper. As things have turned out, however, the last two horses still afloat in the straight at Punchestown in April have amply confirmed their calibre since switching to hurdles. This weekend, both seek a place towards the top of different novice divisions either side of the Irish Sea. Champagne Fever, the winner, steps up to two and a half miles at Naas on Sunday; while Melodic Rendezvous contests a Grade One over two miles at Sandown on Saturday.

In contrast with Champagne Fever, just one among countless elite prospects trained by Willie Mullins, Melodic Rendezvous represents a stable for now encroaching on this kind of grade only by quiet increments. But it is not as if all Jeremy Scott's eggs are in one basket. The Exmoor trainer thinks very highly of Empiracle, a dazzling winner of a Huntingdon bumper in October, while last week Kilmurvy made a stylish start over timber at Taunton. For now, even so, Melodic Rendezvous bears the standard.

Schooled in patience by a previous career as a dairy farmer, Scott was not unduly alarmed when the horse could not quite win his first hurdle race at Exeter in October. Sure enough, Melodic Rendezvous improved significantly to win in better company at Cheltenham last month. "For whatever reason, going to Exeter he wasn't in quite the same form as last year," Scott said today. "He was doing his work well enough, but wasn't exciting us the same way. By the time he went to Cheltenham, we felt he was getting back to where he had been.

"In fairness, last season he didn't run until spring, though he had been in training all winter. Funnily enough, two years ago you would have called him one of our more moderate horses. But he's a big, tall horse, and I think a lot of youngsters are unbalanced by their size. It can take a long time for them to cope with their bodies."

Just as at Exeter, Scott did not get carried away by Cheltenham. "What did we really learn?" he asked. "They crawled, and sprinted. I would say Mr Henderson must be hopeful of reversing form with the second [Royal Boy], because the penny was really dropping with him. But I suppose our horse was in a bit of a hole, in behind, and we saw he could quicken up fairly well on what was not the best of ground. On his work, I've always thought he wanted a better surface. Obviously, it was very sloppy at Punchestown, but it'll be really sticky on Saturday."

Scott seems clear that Empiracle needs decent going and has duly given him a winter break. "He'll go straight to Cheltenham or Aintree," he said. "We've got more horses now, and more exciting ones too. So, yes, certainly we seem to be gaining, somewhere along the way."

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Aragorn Rouge (6.30 Wolverhampton) Thriving for his new stable and clearly remains equal to this kind of mark, unlucky when caught in traffic last time. Cheekpieces could be the last piece in the jigsaw.

Next best

Valley View (1.50 Lingfield) Remains unexposed and, having tried a new trip when his stable was out of form on his comeback, had yet to play his hand when unseating in better company at Cheltenham last time.

One to watch

Colbert Station (Ted Walsh) Looks on the brink of the big time after dominating a competitive field at the Leopardstown Christmas meeting.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine