Fakenham is today's destination for the ambitious Bolam-near-Darlington trainer David Thomson, who travels to Norfolk hoping to complete a double with Charlie Tango and Sovereign State.

Thompson does exceptionally well with the limited ammo at his disposal, Charlie Tango being a prime example of the up-and-coming handler's skills when routing a fair field at Sedgefield last month.

The ground was pretty dire that day and it doesn't take rocket science to calculate Charlie Tango (12.50) should be even better on this afternoon's faster surface for the Christmas Novices' Hurdle.

Another likeable characteristic of Charlie Tango's profile is his sheer athleticism, a valuable asset when required to hurdle at speed around this afternoon's venue, beyond any shadow of doubt the sharpest jumps course in the land.

Sovereigns State's task in the SIS Handicap Hurdle is arguably more difficult, not least because he's up against some useful customers, including the top-weight Smart Boy Prince.

Smart Boy Prince continues in excellent fettle, though he might struggle to concede weight to Sovereign State (1.50), a fine stable servant and multiple scorer over the sticks during the past couple of years.

One thing is for sure, Thompson's game and genuine eight-year-old will not start at odds of 50-1, the ludicrously long price chalked up by the Scottish bookies when he occupied the runners-up berth at Musselburgh in November.

If you ever get the chance to clap your mince pies on the Ayr-bound equine giant Corrib Lad (1.45), don't miss out on a unique opportunity.

Len Lungo's gelding is one of the tallest dudes on the National Hunt circuit, towering well above 17 hands and dwarfing the majority of his rivals as he swings down to the post utilising an enviably long stride.

There's no getting away from the fact it's a huge advantage to possess such size and scope when soaring over steeplechase fences, a physical trait Corrib Lad exploited to the full when collecting on his Hexham chasing debut.

Tony Dobbin's mount has not been harshly treated for that latest success, so all things being even a follow-up victory appears a distinct possibility in the Novices' Handicap Chase.

Timmy Murphy's booking for D J Flippance (2.30) could prove one of the key factors to the outcome of The Betfair Handicap Chase.

Murphy's patient style of riding is tailor-made for Andrew Parker's representative, who likes to play the waiting game rather than show his cards.

There was plenty to admire about the way D J Flippance warmed up in readiness for the three-mile-one-furlongs, staying on strongly to snap up second spot on a visit to Carlisle 28 days ago.

Pawan's prospects of lifting the feature £10,000 sprint at Southwell received a welcome boost when the five-year-old finished fourth at the course on Tuesday.

Ann Stokell, who both trains and rides the selection, could never lay up with the leaders on that occasion when tackling an inadequate five furlongs, but they were doing all of their best work inside the final 100 yards.

Stokell has now opted to step Pawan (1.40) up a furlong, a tactic which could easily mean the first prize for the Charles Contractors Handicap will be returning to her North Yorkshire base at Brompton-on-Swale.

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