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, who 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 heading towards 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, who scampered clear to take the spoils on the testing ground.

Stablemate Mourad ran a nice race in fourth place 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.