Diakali aimed at French test
Last Updated: 04/06/14 4:14pm
Diakali (far right): French test
Connections of Diakali feel the grey has every chance of preventing his stablemate Thousand Stars winning a third French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil on Sunday.
Nick Peacock, who owns Diakali with Willie Mullins under the Wicklow Bloodstock Limited banner, watched him stay on strongly from the rear of the field to finish third behind Thousand Stars in the Prix La Barka at the same Parisian track on May 18.
On this card 12 months ago, Diakali claimed his biggest success to date when winning the Prix Alain du Breil - a rough equivalent of the French Triumph Hurdle.
He went on to finish fourth in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham and third in the Aintree Hurdle.
"I spoke to Willie earlier this week and the plan was to run," said Peacock.
"Things didn't go quite right last time. I think he probably knocked himself and dropped right out before making up a lot of ground.
"The two that were in front should never really have beaten him. The second horse (Le Grand Luce) was about a stone behind him on last season's form and while Thousand Stars is a jolly good horse, he's probably not as good as he was.
"Diakali was lame for two or three days but he worked well last week. If everything goes well, I'm hopeful he can turn it around."
Thousand Stars won the race known locally as the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil in 2011 and 2012 before running badly behind the re-opposing Gemix 12 months ago. Mullins also has Zaidpour in the mix.
Paul Nicholls has engaged Zarkandar, who was sixth in the Barka, while Tony Martin could run Bog Warrior.
Mullins also has Gitane Du Berlais and Abbyssial entered in the Alain du Breil earlier in the day.