Thousand Stars ran yet another fantastic race in defeat as he chased home Roi Du Val in the Gras Savoye Hipcover Prix La Barka at Auteuil.

The Willie Mullins-trained grey has failed to get his head in front since triumphing in last year's County Hurdle at Cheltenham, but has enjoyed a fine season.

The seven-year-old was left chasing the shadow of his esteemed stable companion Hurricane Fly on a number of occasions, but was placed in the Irish Champion Hurdle, fourth in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and second in both the Aintree Hurdle and most recently at Punchestown.

Ridden by Ruby Walsh in France, Thousand Stars travelled kindly throughout the Grade Two contest and was still hard on the bridle rounding the turn for home.

But try as he might, he could not reel in Roi Du Val and had to make to with the runner-up spot once again.

Mullins also saddled this year's County Hurdle winner Final Approach, who also travelled strongly for a long way before weakening into sixth.

The Irish champion trainer's third string Dorset Square never threatened to land a telling blow, while Zaynar, now trained by Nick Williams, showed up well for a long way before his effort petered out.