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Samcro fall at Punchestown caps week to forget for crestfallen Gordon Elliott

• Melon and hot favourite fall at third-last in Champion Hurdle
• Samcro defeat effectively hands trainer’s title to Willie Mullins

The Champion Hurdle here was supposed to be a straightforward matter of Samcro going down to the start and coming back in front but it was rash of us all to imagine that anything at this festival could run according to script. Gordon Elliott’s flashy novice hurdler crashed out at the third-last flight about a second after his main rival, the Willie Mullins-trained Melon, fell alongside him.

Mercifully, both horses and their jockeys rose to their feet and appeared uninjured. Samcro returned to the stands in a horse ambulance but a course official said that had merely been a precaution and there was no reason to suspect that Samcro had been hurt.

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