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Thousand Stars eases to Auteuil glory

Irish raider Thousand Stars won the French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil.

Trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh, the consistent grey had little trouble accounting for Bel La Vie, which helped initiate the pace from the outset.

World Hurdle runner-up Grands Crus, trained by David Pipe, arrived on the scene with every chance but flattened out ahead of the final flight in the hands of Tony McCoy, finishing down the field. The same cannot be said of Thousand Stars, runner-up in both the Aintree Hurdle and the Punchestown Champion Hurdle, which scampered clear to take the spoils on the testing ground. Stablemate Mourad ran a nice race in fourth under Katie Walsh.

Victor Chandler make Thousand Stars 25/1 from 50/1 for next year's World Hurdle, with Big Buck's the 10/11 favourite from 5/6.

Grands Crus is out to 7/1 from 6/1, although he is expected to embark on a novice-chase campaign in the autumn.

Meanwhile, Carlton House delighted connections at Newmarket yesterday ahead of a likely run in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

Ridden by Ryan Moore on Racecourse Side, the colt quickened five lengths clear of his lead-horse, The Fonz, to confirm his well-being ahead of a possible assault at the Curragh Classic on June 26.

The Michael Stoute-trained three-year-old has been the subject of huge media interest this season, with an excellent performance in York's Dante Stakes promoting him to favourite for the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Although unsuccessful in his quest to give owner Queen Elizabeth a first Derby winner, he was far from disgraced in finishing third to Pour Moi.

Sunday Indo Sport