Grade 1 winner Mega Fortune suffers fatal fall at Limerick
Grade 1-winning juvenile Mega Fortune, sent to post a 1-7 favourite for his seasonal return at Limerick on Sunday, suffered a fatal fall at the second-last hurdle when travelling sweetly out in front.
It was a cruel blow for trainer Gordon Elliott and owner Chris Jones, who would have been happy with everything they had seen up until that point.
Mega Fortune enjoyed his finest hour last season when he ran out a good winner of the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown, where he had horses like Bapaume, Ex Patriot and Meri Devie behind him under regular rider Davy Russell.
He then went on to finish second in the Triumph at Cheltenham before ending his season with a creditable fourth at Punchestown, again at the highest level.
Elliott had been plotting another profitable winter for the four-year-old but was left to rue what might have been for the classy son of Soldier Of Fortune.
He said: “It is a very big loss to me and to his owner Chris Jones, but that’s racing and it’s outside the door. It is very disappointing but we will keep our heads up and we will keep going.”
The Mouse Morris-trained Balakani, ridden by Andrew Ring, was left to pick up the pieces and he coasted home well clear of the only other finisher, Penneys Hun.
The winning trainer added: “Unfortunately that’s racing. It’s just bad luck and I had plenty of it myself last year.”