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Somerset trainer Jeremy Scott and jockey Nick Scholfield both recorded their first Grade 1 win today, when Melodic Rendezvous romped home to win the 32 Red Hurdle at Sandown Park.
The first Grade 1 race of 2013 proved as competitive as ever and provided racegoers with a thrilling finish. After Barry Geraghty and Royal Boy made most of the running, the previously unbeaten Pendra surged to the lead just before the final flight, where Melodic Rendezvous joined him before accelerating up the run in going clear of his rivals by four lengths.
Winning jockey Nick Scholfield, who not only recorded his first Grade 1 win today, but also his first ever win at Sandown Park, hopes that Melodic Rendezvous is something special and will take him to the Cheltenham Festival in March. However, trainer Jeremy Scott was a little cautious to commit to plans for the horse in the future.
“The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham would be the ultimate aim,” said Scott after the race. “But we will have to see how he comes out of this race and how he is nearer the time before making any decisions. He is a lovely horse to train but has taken time to come into himself. Two years ago you would not have thought he would be much of a superstar.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Sussex trainer Gary Moore landed a big price winner with Knight of Pleasure in the £32 Bonus at 32Red Casino Juvenile Hurdle. The winning horse was running for the first time and was partnered by Moore’s son Joshua.
Williams Wishes maintained his incredible record by winning his seventh race in eight runs. Trainer Evan Williams was baffled by the horse’s success as he shows very little ability at home on the gallops. However, after making a blunder two fences from home, the eight-year-old made a gallant effort to regain the lead and won by two lengths from the Gemma Gracey-Davidson ridden Nozic.
Lord of House provided conditional jockey Gavin Sheehan with his first win at Sandown Park when landing the 32Red Handicap Hurdle. Trained by Charlie Mann, Lord of House had bottom weight of 10 stone in the competitive handicap and stormed up the run in to beat The Italian Yob by 10 lengths.
Racegoers were entertained after racing by three comedians from London’s Comedy Store.