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Benie Des Dieux uncanny repeat of Cheltenham history stuns Rich Ricci

• Mare’s fall an almost eerie echo of same race in 2015
• Ricci interviewed on TV about BetBright controversy

Rich Ricci appeared a broken man in the aftermath of the Mares Hurdle, when his hopes of victory were dashed at the final flight for the second time in four years. His pink and green colours, carried by the hot favourite Benie Des Dieux, seemed on their way to the winner’s enclosure as the mare went clear of her rivals off the home turn, but she met the flight on a long stride, jumped big and crumpled on landing.

It was a remarkable, almost eerie echo of the same race in 2015, when Ricci’s Annie Power fell in almost exactly the same manner with the race at her mercy. That became one of the most famous, most bitterly regretted tumbles in the sport’s long history, for all that the mare emerged unscathed, because she was the final leg in a multitude of accumulator bets and her blunder was reckoned to save the bookmakers tens of millions.

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