Mullins turns his attention to some of France’s top hurdle races

Thousand Stars will warm up for a hat-trick attempt on next month’s French Champion Hurdle in tomorrow’s Prix La Barka

Thousand Stars runs in the Prix la Barka.

Thousand Stars runs in the Prix la Barka.

Sat, May 18, 2013, 13:08

After an all-conquering spring in Ireland, Britain, and even Japan, Willie Mullins is setting his sights on a summer blitz of Paris, starting with Thousand Stars at Auteuil tomorrow.

Winner of the French Champion Hurdle for the last two years, Thousand Stars will warm up for a hat-trick attempt next month when he runs in tomorrow’s €175,000 Prix La Barka.

Mullins has used the traditional trial for the Grande Course Des Haies D’Auteuil on many occasions in the past, including last year when Thousand Stars won en route to French championship honours.

Ruby Walsh again teams up with the stalwart grey who finished behind his stable companion Hurricane Fly at Punchestown last month. He is joined in tomorrow’s race by two other stablemates, Zaidpour and So Young.

Thousand Stars’ opposition will include a horse very familiar to Walsh, the former Champion Hurdle runner-up Celestial Halo who will attempt to secure a first Auteuil success for top British trainer Paul Nicholls.

On the same card at the Paris track, Mullins runs his Punchestown winner Diakali in the Grade Three Prix De Longchamp.

Irish international interest tomorrow will also include Johnny Murtagh’s trip to the other side of the globe to partner Balmont Mast in the Group One KrisFlyer Sprint in Singapore.