Racing: Nicholls fined over `non-trier'

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The Independent Online
THE TRAINER David Nicholls was yesterday fined pounds 1,500 and his apprentice Paul Clarke suspended for 10 days under the "non-triers" rule over the running and riding of Venture Capitalist at Carlisle. The horse was also suspended from running for 40 days from Saturday.

Venture Capitalist finished eighth, beaten four lengths by the winner, Pure Coincidence. Nicholls was not present but his wife, Alex Greaves, said: "The old horse has to be ridden to come through horses, if you pull him out he won't go. I'm flabbergasted, but that's what they've decided, so that's it."

The stewards' secretary, Anthony Gillam, said: "In fairness to Clarke he carried out instructions in that he was told to come through horses, but the stewards felt Venture Capitalist had been given an easy race and finished full of running."

Greaves confirmed that Clarke had been told to hold up the gelding and make progress through the field and that he had carried out those instructions to the best of his ability, although a more experienced jockey might have switched the gelding in the final furlong.

Ramruma, whose participation in the St Leger was thrown into doubt by her exertions in winning last week's Yorkshire Oaks, was among the 15 acceptors for the 11 September Classic yesterday.

Her trainer, Henry Cecil, said: "She has had a long year and she will go for the Leger, finish early for the season, and wait until next year to go for the other races."