• Horse Racing

Thousand Stars shines in French Champion Hurdle

ESPN staff
June 10, 2012
Thousand Stars was the winner at Auteuil © PA Photos

Thousand Stars produced a powerful finish to claim back-to-back victories in the French Champion Hurdle at Auteil.

The Willie Mullins-trained grey snatched the lead from Nikita Du Berlais after jumping the last to successfully defend his title in the Grande Course De Haies D'Auteuil.

Sleeping Mat had held a commanding lead after a strong start, but he was pulled up after he appeared to pick up an injury following a mistake at the last. Nikita Du Berlais took the lead, but Ruby Walsh tracked the home challenger and the favourite showed an impressive turn of pace to streak away to a four-length victory.

Formosa Joana Has finished third, with Mullins' charges Mourad and Zaidpour fourth and fifth respectively, while British runner Cape Tribulation finished well off the pace.

Meanwhile, Mullins' Ut De Sivola fared best of the four Irish challengers but could only manage fifth in the Prix Alain Du Breil. Usual Suspects, trained by Guy Cherel, won with Chegei Has second and Blingless third.

In the Gran Premio Di Milano in Italy, Marco Botti's Joshua Tree could only manage fourth in a race won by German-trained horse Earl of Tinsdal. Home challenger Quiza Quiza Quiza held off Vadamar by a neck for second.

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