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Sam winner can deliver

There's a bonus for punters on the supporting card at Chepstow, where Sam Winner and Smad Place, which dominate the Triumph Hurdle market, lock horns in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle (1.10). The big clue here is the decision of trainer Paul Nicholls (right) to back up Sam Winner with Dolatulo, which proved no match for Smad Place on their recent clash at Newbury.

The Alan King-trained Smad Place was making his English debut that day. Even on 10lbs worse terms, he should readily confirm those placings with Dolatulo. Yet by running Dolatulo, Nicholls infers that the horse wasn't himself at Newbury -- and that Sam Winner is the better prospect anyway, since he has booked Tony McCoy.

The odds may be quite short, but Sam Winner will definitely be better served by these testing conditions than when winning on quicker ground at Cheltenham last time.

Also at Chepstow, Fine Parchment can defy a significant hike in the weights in the handicap chase (2.20) over two miles. Charlie Mann's chaser was raised 12lbs for winning at Cheltenham last month, but useful claimer Peter Toole is again on board and the gelding has winning form on the heavy. Furthermore, Fine Parchment is up against some out-of-sorts opponents.

Irish Independent