By Racinguk.com staff
Gordon Elliott's 1-7 favourite was on the way to a straightforward success and his departure left the way clear for Balakani (8-1) to come home well clear of the only other starter, Penneys Hun.
Winning trainer Mouse Morris said: "That's racing, unfortunately, and I had plenty of it (bad luck) myself last year."
He continued: "He's going to be a grand fellow to go chasing and we'll have plenty fun with him. He wants a trip, but he's only four and we'll tip away in another winners' race next, although I might not delay too long hurdling."
Mega Fortune landed the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown in February, before finding only Defi Du Seuil too good at Cheltenham in March.
Robin Des Foret got the better of his odds-on Willie Mullins-trained stablemate Fabulous Saga in the Listed Dunraven Arms Hotel Novice Hurdle.
Ruby Walsh set a searching pace on Fabulous Saga and it was obvious from a long way out only the front three were going to be involved in the finish, with Burren Life splitting the pair down the back straight.
When he came under pressure the two Mullins inmates had it to themselves, but Paul Townend only had to shake the reins at the seven-year-old Robin Des Foret (7-2), who was winning over hurdles for the fifth time.
Townend said: "He normally goes from the front, but we went a good gallop and I was delighted with how he settled.
"He jumped brilliant and I just kept him on the bridle as long as I could. He handled the ground well and that opens up plenty of options for him. He probably surprised me in fairness."
Select any odd to add a bet