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'Fortune' suffers fatal fall as Total Recall lands Munster pot

Walsh:
Walsh: "He was a nice horse to get and was obviously well taught as a novice last year." Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Sympathy for punters who took extremely cramped odds was soon reserved for connections after Mega Fortune suffered a fatal fall in the first at Limerick yesterday.

Gordon Elliott's four-year-old, which would have been worth in the region of €300,000, was sent to post the 1/7 favourite on his first run of the season, facing merely two inferior rivals. As he approached the second last, he was evidently in full command under Davy Russell.

Inexplicably, the gelding, owned by Chris Jones, failed to negotiate the hurdle, shortly after some had wagered on him in running at odds of 1/50 on the betting exchanges. This left the race open to the other pair, with 8/1 chance Balakani taking his opportunity under Andrew Ring for Mouse Morris. "That's racing unfortunately," said Morris, "and I had plenty of it (bad luck) myself last year."

More than €200,000 was matched on the horse at 1/8 on Betfair, with considerable sums placed at shorter odds too.

Meanwhile, the former Sandra Hughes-trained Total Recall landed a monster gamble in the Munster National after being sent off 2/1 favourite on his first start for Willie Mullins.

Keen early on, Ruby Walsh managed to get him settled at the rear of the field and he was always cantering thereafter.

Alpha Des Obeaux was still in front turning for home and ran a fine race off top weight, but there was never any real question who was going to win.

Walsh said: "He travelled and jumped well - he's like an elastic band. He was a nice horse to get and was obviously well taught as a novice last year. The runner-up has run a blinder under top weight and we had only 10st 5lb.

"If you get into this type of handicap with less than 10st 7lb, you've a huge chance."

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