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Stars leads Mullins assault

Thousand Stars leads a three-strong Willie Mullins assault on this afternoon's French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil.

A runner-up in Grade Ones at Aintree and Punchestown in the spring, last year's County Hurdle winner filled the same spot in his preparations for today's valuable showpiece at the French venue three weeks ago.

Ruby Walsh, who took over from his sister Katie that day, will again take the reins, with Katie set to partner Mourad.

At Punchestown in May, Katie gave her brother a scare when she steered Mourad into a fine second behind the brilliant Quevega. With Mourad's stamina proven, she may yet prove to be on the right one in today's three-and-a-quarter-mile feature.

Mullins' third runner in the Grade One, which gets under way at 3.15, is Final Approach, the mount of David Casey. Earlier on the card, the champion trainer saddles the Fairyhouse winner Twinlight in the four-year-old champion hurdle.

Meanwhile, Paul Mulrennan faces a long spell on the sidelines after breaking a leg at Musselburgh yesterday. The rider suffered the injury after his mount, Sound Advice, dived through the running rail shortly after winning the opening two-year-old contest.

Irish Independent