ADRIAN Maguire had a second King George VI Tripleprint Chase victory

cruelly snatched away from him by a last-fence blunder that presented

the race to French outsider Algan at Kempton yesterday.

With the #90,000 prize virtually in the bag when 10 lengths clear,

having jumped the first 18 fences immaculately, Barton Bank put in a

short stride at the last, hit the obstacle hard and catapulted his

jockey over his head to the ground.

It was a heartbreaking result for Maguire, who broke down in tears as

he returned from the track to be consoled by trainer David Nicholson.

''You saw what happened,'' said the jockey.

But as Algan's trainer Francois Doumen celebrated his fourth King

George victory, following wins with Nupsala in 1987 and The Fellow in

1991 and 1992, Nicholson lashed out at Racing Post photographer Edward


Nicholson, who writes a column for the paper, hit Whitaker as he tried

to prevent him photographing him commiserating with his distraught

jockey. Whitaker later claimed he had been punched on the ear.

Releasing a stream of four-letter words, the trainer stormed: ''I'm

livid. He was trying to take pictures of Adrian and me. I lean over

backwards to help him. In those circumstances, he should get lost.

''He shouldn't take that photograph. Adrian was upset, I was upset,

the owners were upset. It was totally out of order. I am not standing

for photographers doing that.

''If they do it again, I'll ram it straight down their throats.''

The racecourse stewards were not asked to intervene. Clerk of the

course Andrew Cooper said:

''News of the incident reached the stewards but there has been no

official complaint from anyone. When it is reported tomorrow they may

wish to conduct their own inquiries.''

The Racing Post was standing by its photographer last night. Editorial

director Brough Scott said: ''Obviously David was well out of order and

he will have to apologise. Edward was doing his job.''

Barton Bank became Corals new 5-1 favourite for the Gold Cup (from

14-1) but is still 8-1 with William Hill who stay loyal to Merry Gale at

6-1 as their market leader. Algan is 20-1 with Hills but 12-1 with


Algan, a first ride in England for former French jumps champion

Philippe Chevalier, fulfilled Francois Doumen's high hopes though the

Frenchman conceded he was fortunate to win.

* LORD Relic is the pick of Martin Pipe's three runners to secure the

Wellington trainer's sixth Coral Welsh National success in the last

seven years at Chepstow today.

A useful novice hurdler two seasons ago, Lord Relic made an uncertain

start to chasing last term, taking a crashing fall at Kempton.

The eight-year-old was given plenty of time to recover his confidence

and, although he again came to grief on his Ascot reappearance, he

really only slipped on landing.

He has run two fine races since, finishing two lengths second to One

Man in the Hennessy at Newbury and one and threequarter lengths third to

Raymylette in the Betterware Cup at Ascot. That represents solid form.