sport

Scott's choice of Rendezvous

Jeremy Scott would rather Melodic Rendezvous had a competitive outing in Saturday's Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton.

There will be an inspection before racing can go ahead at the Somerset course, with the meeting already an all-hurdles affair as the wet weather ruined any chance for chases.

Melodic Rendezvous did not make it to the Cheltenham Festival last season but is already looking worthy of his entry in the Stan James Champion Hurdle after a game win in last month's trial at Haydock.

Scott's chestnut opened his account for the season over the course and distance by beating the Paul Nicholls-trained Far West in the Elite Hurdle, and Nicholls' Zarkandar looks his most serious rival having taken this event 12 months ago.

"He's very well and hopefully it's on as it's the race we picked for him and it would be lovely to win it," said Scott.

"It's not the end of the world if it isn't and he would probably then go for a racecourse gallop at Exeter before their Cheltenham preview evening next Friday."

Scott has also entered the chaser Notarfbad and said: "When it looked like there might only be four runners I stuck him in to put it up to five.

"I just didn't want it to be a ridiculous three-runner race or something, and he can make the running if need be."

Zarkandar is expected to participate in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle alongside his illustrious stablemate Big Buck's.

The seven-year-old has twice finished second to Annie Power this season, and took the same position behind The New One in the International Hurdle.

Nicholls said: "He looks really well. It will be a good test of stamina and it should put him right for the World Hurdle.

"He always comes alive in the spring, he could go to Aintree, Punchestown and maybe France."

Grumeti, one of the top juveniles of 2012, has been feeling his way back with a third in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle where Melodic Rendezvous was only fifth, but was disappointed in the Christmas Hurdle when Alan King's horses were under a cloud.

"He was wrong after the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, but he has been working well again and, hopefully, he can get back on track here," the trainer told www.alankingracing.co.uk.

Last year's Cheltenham Festival chase winner Golden Chieftain has been entered to make his comeback by Colin Tizzard.