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Bachasson leads home Clonmel Oil one-two for Mullins

Bachasson ran the opposition into the ground to give trainer Willie Mullins a sixth success in eight years in the Clonmel Oil Chase at the County Tipperary track.

The grey – having his first race since scoring over the course and distance just before the lockdown in March – proved too good for his shorter-priced stablemate Cilaos Emery.

David Mullins set out to dictate affairs from flag-fall on Bachasson, with Cilaos Emery keeping in touch under Paul Townend.

Although both horses made the odd mistake, it was Cilaos Emery who made a crucial one at the third-last.

The 8-11 favourite could not bridge the gap after that and Bachasson (9-4) kept up the gallop to win by five and a half lengths. Snow Falcon was 26 lengths away in third place.

Mullins said: “He was very brave and David had lots of confidence in him – I thought he had gone too far out, but I think he had more confidence in the horse than I had.

“Paul thought Cilaos Emery needed the race and I’m happy with both nice horses.”

He went on: “After Bachasson got a fall in Cheltenham I wasn’t keen to go back over fences with him, but around these country tracks he is fine. He seems to enjoy doing that.

“I didn’t look beyond today and we wanted to come down here and see where we were with them, although Cilaos Emery could now go for the Hilly Way at Cork.”

Betway gave the Mullins pair 25-1 quotes for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

Mark Walsh on his way to weighing-in after success on Shattered Love
Mark Walsh on his way to weighing-in after success on Shattered Love (Thomas Weekes/PA)

Shattered Love took her 100 per cent record at Clonmel to three when repeating last year’s victory in the T. A. Morris Memorial Irish EBF Mares Chase.

Gordon Elliott’s charge tracked the pace-setting Cabaret Queen until leading two out and quickly put daylight between herself and her three rivals.

The 11-8 favourite crossed the line 10 lengths clear in the hands of Mark Walsh. Cabaret Queen just hung on by a nose from Western Victory for the runner-up spot.

“She loves it around here, it was her third win from her third run and she seems to be a lot better in her own grade against other mares,” said Walsh.

Trainer Gordon Elliott
Trainer Gordon Elliott (PA)

“She has won two Grade Ones as a novice but finds it easier against her own sex. 

“I’m delighted with how she did it and jumped brilliantly bar the last when we had a little mix up, but she was good.”

Shattered Love was cut 14-1 from 20-1 for the Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham with Coral and to 10-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power.

Elliott had earlier saddled Sassy Yet Classy to win the Clonmel Oil Service Station Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Denis O’Regan.

Cilaos Emery back in action in Clonmel Chase

Cilaos Emery tries two and a half miles for the first time as the Willie Mullins-trained gelding makes his seasonal debut in the Clonmel Oil Chase at the County Tipperary course on Thursday.

The eight-year-old was fourth on his only previous attempt at the trip in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle in 2017 behind Apples Jade, but has stuck to around two miles under both since codes since then.

Cilaos Emery fell on his last race over fences at Leopardstown in February, after which connections put him back over the smaller obstacles. Following success in the Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran, Cilaos Emery was supplemented for the Champion Hurdle, finishing fourth to Epatante.

“When he fell on his prep run for the Champion Chase, owner Luke McMahon took the decision that the Champion Hurdle looked wide open and chanced that,” said Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father.

“I think they got their money back for finishing fourth, but we are keen to go back over fences again.

“Ruby (Walsh) felt going up to two and a half miles might help him. He had been a very keen horse in his younger days, but he seems to settle much better now so we’re hoping that two and a half won’t pose any problem.

“We’re expecting a big run.”

Bachasson accompanies stablemate Cilaos Emery in the Clonmel Oil Chase
Bachasson accompanies stablemate Cilaos Emery in the Clonmel Oil Chase (Pat Healy/PA)

The Closutton yard is also represented by Bachasson in a bid to win the race for a sixth time since 2013.

Mullins junior said: “He was in great form last season. He won on the last day before lockdown in Clonmel.

“I rode him in the Coral Cup where he ran a very good race. We dropped out in a pace which was slow. He finished sixth, but he could have finished closer on a different day.

“He’s a high-class horse as well so it would be no surprise if he caused an upset.”

Kemboy, who won this race in 2018, was withdrawn at the 48-hour final declaration stage.

The three-time Grade One winner could reappear later this month ahead of his main early-season objective, the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

“All is well with him. There are a few other races coming up in the next fortnight he could go for, but all is good with him. Willie has a few different races in mind,” said Mullins.

“We’ll aim everything at Christmas, but it would be great to get a run in beforehand.”

Of the four horses that take on the Mullins pair, Gordon Elliot’s Alpha Des Obeaux and the Joseph O’Brien-trained Mortal are owned by Gigginstown House Stud. Noel Meade’s Snow Falcon and Henry de Bromhead’s Paloma Blue complete the sextet.

Shattered Love goes for back-to-back victories in the T.A. Morris Memorial Irish EBF Mares Chase
Shattered Love goes for back-to-back victories in the T.A. Morris Memorial Irish EBF Mares Chase (Tim Goode/PA)

Elliott’s Shattered Love, wearing the Gigginstown colours, attempts to repeat last year’s victory in the T.A. Morris Memorial Irish EBF Mares Chase.

The five runners include Jessica Harrington’s Magic Of Light, runner-up in the 2019 Randox Health Grand National.

The Mullins stable is represented by Cabaret Queen, fresh from her last-gasp victory in the Kerry National at Listowel.

“She’s been in great form since her win at Listowel,” said Mullins.

“Obviously on ratings she needs to improve a little bit again, but it’s a very competitive race. Hopefully she has the advantage of being hard fit on her side. Maybe that will bring things in her favour.”