Bachasson and jockey Paul Townend land Clonmel feature for Cork owner the O'Connells

In the colours made famous by Un De Sceaux, Townend and Bachasson secured the featured Sur Blueway Steeplechase
Bachasson and jockey Paul Townend land Clonmel feature for Cork owner the O'Connells

Bachasson and Paul Townend win the Suir Blueway Steeplechase. Picture: Healy Racing

THE remarkable 12-year-old Bachasson defied a 749-day absence at Clonmel in the featured Sur Blueway Steeplechase, in the process winning the race for a sixth consecutive year for Willie Mullins. 

Mullins is no stranger to producing horses to win off a long absence as we saw in January when Joe Donnelly's Tactical Move won a maiden hurdle off an 1158-day absence.

The Voix Du Nord gelding Bachasson was completing a remarkable six-timer himself, which began during lockdown here in Clonmel in March 2020.

Bachasson who was described by Willie Mullins as a handy horse has repeatedly proved the old adage that the best goods can come in small parcels. He's always been an excellent jumper and he copes really well in testing conditions which he encountered here today in Clonmel in abundance. 

This was his 14th victory from 23 career starts here in Ireland allied to two victories from three starts in APQS starts in France which are the equivalent of Irish Bumpers.

Partnered by Lisgoold jockey Paul Townend in the colours made famous by Un De Sceaux who himself won 19 times under rules including two Cheltenham festival victories. Bachasson sported the colours of Catherine O'Connell wife of the late Eddie O'Connell who sadly passed away in April 2021. 

The O'Connell family have long been associated with horse racing ownership and sponsorship as long-time sponsors of Sarsfields Hurling Club.


Un De Sceaux provided them with 10 grade-one victories but Bachasson has equally been a huge family favourite ever since he burst on the scene winning a maiden hurdle on his Irish debut in July 2015 at Sligo under Ruby Walsh justifying odds of 4/11 and impressing Walsh who at the time said: "he has a fair engine".

Here, Townend was content to take his time on the long absent Bachasson before producing him to lead at the second last and he sealed it with a terrific jump at the last to record a facile seven-length success from My Design. 

Bachasson's last defeat was at the Cheltenham festival in 2020 when an honourable 6th in the Coral Cup. The O'Connell family enjoyed success on this card last year also when Klarc Kent in the colours of Colm O'Connell won the bumper.

It was the perfect kick-start to a big evening for both Willie Mullins and Paul Townend as they paraded Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs along with owner Audrey Turley in the village of Leighlinbridge in Carlow starting at the iconic Lord Bagenal Inn.

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