Daily Star



AFTER valiantly keeping the show on the road, Ireland has now cancelled horseracin­g, along with all other sporting events, that had taken place behind closed doors.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said yesterday: “We believe we need to do more to flatten the curve.

“People should stay at home if at all possible – this is the best way to slow the virus.”

Yesterday’s jump meeting at Clonmel will be the last fixture in the country until at least April 19.

Today’s all-weather fixture at

Dundalk has now been abandoned and the Irish Grand National meeting at Fairyhouse between April 11-13 is one of the key meetings lost.

Racing in Ireland had taken place behind closed doors since March 13 and was a saviour to the racing and betting industry.

The UK suspended racing from last Wednesday, with no action anticipate­d before May 1 at the earliest.

With all racing meetings in Europe now cancelled, it will only be a matter of time before the United States also pulls up stumps.

Yesterday, South Africa announced Thursday’s card at Vaal will be the last fixture before a lockdown is imposed, with no racing permitted between Friday, March 27, and April 17 at the earliest.

Before the curtain came down on Irish racing, Bachasson overcame a lack of match practice over fences when putting in a faultless round of jumping when taking the Boylesport Chase at Clonmel.

Partnered by Paul Townend, the grey skipped over his fences despite having his first run in a chase since falling in the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

“He had the mark to do it and he was entitled to do it like that,” said Townend after his win on the Willie Mullins-trained grey.

“He’s a really quick jumper and makes lengths everywhere, which is a great help. You can just let him away and let him do his own thing.”

Townend’s sister Jody also enjoyed success when partnering Captain Kangaroo to victory for Mullins in the concluding bumper race.

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