Jeremy Scott has confirmed his stable star Melodic Rendezvous will bypass Saturday's Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in favour of a trip to Exeter the following day.
Second in a Grade One bumper at last season's Punchestown Festival, the seven-year-old has made a fine start to his career over obstacles, building on his debut second with two impressive victories, supplementing a Cheltenham success with a clear-cut victory in a heavy ground Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown.
Melodic Rendezvous had the option of travelling to Ireland or running at Doncaster, but his target is Sunday's Listed Bathwick Tyres Plymouth Novices' Hurdle, where he is set to clash with the equally exciting Puffin Billy.
Scott said: "The plan is to go to Exeter with him. We could have taken the easier option and gone to Doncaster, but the owners are keen to go to Exeter and that's the way we're going.
"We also had the option of going to Ireland, but Exeter is just down the road and while I'm sure he'll have a hard race on Sunday, I think he'd have an even harder race in Ireland, especially when you consider the travelling and everything.
"It's going to be a tough old race at Exeter and it will be interesting to see what happens."
Melodic Rendezvous is entered for both the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the longer Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Festival, and Scott believes this weekend's test will tell connections a lot about which race he should head for.
"The ground is going to play a big part in the decision of course, but also Sunday's race will tell us a lot about which way we should be going with him," said the trainer.
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