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Racing: Nicholls hopes take a fall with McCoy.

Tony McCoy suffered a 'Clan Royal moment' at Towcester last night as Paul Nicholls' hopes of clawing back a few pounds in the trainers' title race hit the buffers.

Nicholls, who started the day pounds 31,232 behind champion Martin Pipe, had just the one runner in Oracle Des Mottes in the opening Free Beginners' Chase.

However, the 5-2 shot was carried out by a loose horse approaching the 11th fence in the two-and-three-quarter-mile contest, with McCoy unable to do anything about it. The race was won by 28-1 shot Camdenation.

The champion jockey famously suffered a similar indignity when leading the Grand National field on Clan Royal at Aintree just ten days ago.

Just to rub salt in the wound for Nicholls, McCoy had no such ill luck when he also rode Pipe's only runner, Standin Obligation in the Alphameric Leisure For FOB's Novices' Hurdle to hold off Malay by two lengths.

McCoy was completing a double, having won the EMW Law Handicap Chase on 9-2 shot Fiori.

The season closes with the Betfred Gold Cup at Sandown on Saturday
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 20, 2005
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