Ptit Zig finishes third in France
Ptit Zig and Aubusson had to settle for minor honours in the Grand Prix D' Automne Hurdle behind Alex de Larredya in the Grade One at Auteuil.
Ptit Zig (r) had to settle for third in France
Paul Nicholls has mapped out a campaign that involved plenty of trips to France for Ptit Zig and the seven-year-old was far from disgraced in finishing third behind the impressive winner.
Aubusson was seven lengths adrift in fourth while veteran stablemate Reve de Sivola was seventh.
Alex de Larredya was providing trainer Francois Nicolle and jockey Gaëtan Masure with a first top level success and Nicolle was delighted with the outcome.
"Gaëtan has ridden according to our plan," he told www.paristurf.com.
"I've been working towards this for a long time. He has proved that he's a good hurdler. "
Masure was equally enthusiastic adding: " I had plenty of petrol left in the final turn. I haven't had to move over the last two hurdles. He produced quite a finishing kick."
Market leader Blue Dragon had taken the field along but was racing too keenly having got worked up and was a spent force before the field straightened for home.
Eventual runner-up Solway and Ptit Zig were left in the lead but the patiently ridden Alex de Larreyda made up a lot of ground in the closing stages and was firmly on top at the line.