Stars proves Champion

Stars proves Champion
Stars proves Champion
Sky Sports Racing News

Thousand Stars completed a big-race double in France with a fluent success in the Grande Course’De Haies’D'Auteuil on Sunday.

The race, better known as the French Champion Hurdle, went to the gallant grey for the second season running and added to his victory last time out in the Prix La Barka.

The race was set up by Sleeping Mat, who went on early and was still in front coming to the final flight, albeit under strong pressure from his jockey David Berra

But sadly he made a bad mistake at the obstacle and appeared to suffer a serious injury, quickly being pulled up as the remaining combatants headed for the line.

And it was Ruby Walsh’s mount who found plenty after jumping the last to beat Nikita Du Berlais and end the strongly-fancied home challenger’s unbeaten record.

Formosa Joana Mas took third ahead of the staying-on Mourad and Zaidpour, the other two raiders from the Willie Mullins yard.

British runner Cape Tribulation, a winner at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals, finished well behind under Denis O’Regan.

Proud Trainer

Mullins said: “He’s an iron horse. He’s just too tough and it’s amazing how he’s raced from the Morgiana (at Punchestown in November) up to today and not missed a Festival.

“He pulled out as fresh as paint today. He’s so tough. To win a race like this two years in a row is just fantastic. He seems to love this track and these hurdles suit him.”

The County Carlow trainer was also happy with the performance of his two other runners.

“Mourad stayed on great and Zaidpour jumped a lot better. He got a bit tired in the closing stages, but for him I’m still happy he ran a great race at this end of the season,” he added.

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