Melodic Rendezvous outpointed Puffin Billy in emphatic fashion in the Bathwick Tyres Plymouth Novices' Hurdle at Exeter.
What was expected to boil down to a duel between two smart youngsters quickly materialised when the pair were left together turning for home on Haldon Hill as the other three starters fell away.
Puffin Billy went off the 4-5 favourite after landing his first four starts in style, but Leighton Aspell began to get lower in the saddle while Nick Scholfield sat motionless aboard Tolworth Hurdle winner Melodic Rendezvous (5-4).
Only hitting the front after the final flight, Jeremy Scott's stable star surged nine lengths clear on the run-in.
"It's very deep ground. Puffin Billy is only five, we're seven and maybe a bit stronger and we've probably handled the ground better today," Scholfield told Racing UK.
"We had a plan that we might just beat Puffin Billy for speed, we thought he was more of a stayer than ours.
"We were looking at the two-mile (Supreme) for Cheltenham but on this showing, we've outstayed him and we are scratching our heads a bit.
"We were leaning towards the Supreme, but we'll have to wait and see what the ground is nearer the time. If it's good ground, we could look at the Neptune, but if it's soft he might go for the Supreme."