Sol second as Gem sparkles in French Champion Hurdle
SOL SECOND AS GEM SPARKLES
Gemix kept the French Champion Hurdle on home soil when taking the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil at the Paris track.
The five-year-old made just about all the running over to beat off a strong challenge from Britain and Ireland.
The Nicolas Bertran de Balanda-trained entire pulled out all the stops for jockey David Cottin and the 8-1 shot swept to victory from the Charles Byrnes-trained Solwhit, the 5-4 favourite.
Zaidpour (22-1), from the Willie Mullins stable, put in his best work at the finish to claim third place, with the Paul Nicholls-trained Celestial Halo not too far away.
Mullins' Thousand Stars, winner of this race for the last two years, could never strike a blow, while the Nick Williams-trained Reve De Sivola faded tamely in the straight after showing up well for most of the Grade One contest.
Paddy Power gave Gemix a 12-1 quote for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at next year's Cheltenham Festival.