Bachasson back in business at Punchestown

Classy performer was last seen in the Gold Cup

  • Monday 31 December
  • News
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Bachasson came from last to first when making a successful return to action in the Tote Pays Dividends Hurdle at Punchestown.

Carrying the colours of the O’Connell family made famous by the popular Un De Sceaux, Bachasson developed into a high-class performer in his own right last season, landing successive Listed prizes over fences at Thurles and Tramore to earn himself a shot at Cheltenham Gold Cup glory.

However, the Willie Mullins-trained grey only made it as far as the second fence in the blue riband at Prestbury Park and he reverted to the smaller obstacles on his first start since under Ruby Walsh.

Walsh settled his mount at the rear of the five-runner field for much of the two-and-a-half-mile journey and he and the rest looked in trouble when De Plotting Shed slipped clear before the home turn.

However, not for the first time, De Plotting Shed wilted under pressure in the straight and 9-4 chance Bachasson charged home to score by two and a quarter lengths from Darasso.

Bachasson was one of three runners for the champion trainer, with 13-8 favourite Scarpeta finishing third and Killultagh Vic – winner of this race a year ago – trailing home a long last.

“It was a nice surprise to finish the year off,” said Mullins.

“It’s great to have him (Bachasson) back because he had a nasty injury after the Gold Cup.

“This was a nice race to bring him back. I didn’t dream that he was straight enough to win, but he did it well.

“I might keep him hurdling for the foreseeable future and the same with Killultagh Vic, if I can find races for them.

“Scarpeta will obviously be the same. He probably just wanted a longer trip and his jumping let him down again.

“Killultagh Vic will probably get an entry for the Irish Gold Cup, but I’m thinking more about the horse and keeping him sound. He’ll have to get an entry, but we’ll see.

“I’m trying to keep both of them hurdling. I’d like to keep Bachasson hurdling anyway, I might have to change my plans with Killultagh Vic.

“I’m thinking about keeping them sound, but we’ll have to see. I hadn’t been thinking about the Irish Gold Cup, but it’s a race we’ll have to consider.”

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