Hurricane blows cold in Paris
Hurricane Fly could finish only sixth in his attempt to add the French Champion Hurdle to his amazing CV at Auteuil.
Willie Mullins' superstar, the mount of Ruby Walsh, never threatened to get into the picture in the race officially known as the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil and it was the stable's other runner, Thousand Stars, who shone as he finished a gallant second.
But there was no catching the winner Un Temps Pour Tout, who made all the running under James Reveley to take Grade One glory for David Pipe.
The six-year-old enjoyed the run of the race from the front and won unchallenged, with Thousand Stars staying on well from the rear to claim the runner-up spot in the hands of Katie Walsh.
Sam Twiston-Davies steered Zarkandar into third place for trainer Paul Nicholls, with Dos Santos first of the home contingent in fourth. Un Temps Pour Tout's stablemate Ballynagour was fifth.
Pipe said: "It was a fantastic race. Horse and jockey were very brave and galloped all the way to the line. Ballynagour ran well and finished fifth, but the trip was probably better for Un Temps Pour Tout than it was for him."
Thousand Stars has become an Auteuil regular, winning four times on his various visits and running creditably on other occasions.
Mullins' son and assistant Patrick said: "He seems to keep his best form now for Auteuil in May and June. He's a credit to the yard and he's a remarkable horse at 11 years of age."
However, Mullins junior felt Hurricane Fly was never at home on the Paris course on his first run there for seven years.
He added: "I thought you could tell after the first hurdle that he didn't look comfortable. He finished sixth so he got some prize money. We'll give him his holidays now and he'll come back in training next year and we'll see how he is then."
The Mullins yard was out of luck in the Prix Des Drags with Perfect Gentleman unseating Paul Townend in mid-race and On His Own never a factor, the prize going to Bel La Vie.
Then Buiseness Sivola ran a respectable race in the Prix Alain Du Breil under Ruby Walsh, racing in second for most of the way before fading out of it on the long run-in, though Bryan Cooper-ridden stable companion Petite Parisienne was well beaten.
Blue Dragon led all the way to win the Grade One contest in the hands of Vincent Cheminaud, who landed the French Derby on the Flat last weekend on New Bay.