Sam Thomas' Novice looks useful and can win again at Haydock
Positive Impact has serious claims for Listed Kempton glory
Both horses arrive on the upgrade
This race has plenty of depth, but the preference is for the Sam Thomas trained - Lump Sum 3/14.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - who left a good impression when running out a 10-length winner at Ffos Las in a race run quicker than the bumper on the card.
He was entitled to win as he did on previous collateral form, but he barely came out of second gear, and his circuit time dwarfed that of the 2m4f Maiden Hurdle on the card, which had a 118-rated runner in second. He was only a fraction slower over the final three flights at Ffos Las, and his jockey never asked him for an effort.
He is a useful type for a trainer who does well with his novice hurdlers, and this Haydock track should suit him. He may have too much speed for Spirits Bay, where three hurdles lie in waiting in this home straight, and he makes plenty of appeal despite his five-pound winner penalty.
Helnwein and Personal Ambition are both horses to be positive about, but the selection has run into the mid-120s on his hurdling debut. With that seasonal return under his belt, he is sure to improve for a second go over hurdles as well as on the fitness front, so gets the vote at any 9/43.25 or bigger.
Positive Impact - 7/24.50 on the Betfair Sportsbook - is going the right way and arrives on the back of a clear career best at Chelmsford 32 days ago when a classy winner of a handicap off of a rating of 96. He may be able to take advantage of the lack of race fitness from Majestic Pride using his front-running tactics from a good draw in stall one.
Simon and Ed Crisford's four-year-old is a rapid improver, and the move into the Listed company shouldn't be enough to prevent a follow-up under optimal conditions returned to the scene of an emphatic win last September in just as deep a race.
He appeals to be the one to get behind in this trappy contest, particularly given there is only one other probable pace angel in the contest drawn in stall six. The selections AW record now reads 100% with two victories - here at Kempton and Chelmsford.
Given the promise he showed last season as a three-year-old when making the likes of Jimi Hendrix (111) work hard at Newmarket and having New Kingdom (105) in behind, he looks a fair bet to go in today, considering he is only five pounds off the best of these.
Top-rated Tempus is a better horse on the turf than AW, and Al Mubhir has his first start on this surface with new headgear that needs to bring out further improvement while he has earned his rating by slogging in the mud.
Lightship likes it here and may outrun her odds along with Another Romance. Still, Positive Impact arrives firmly on the upgrade and is taken to land this contest.
Any 9/43.25 or bigger is acceptable.