Ptit Zig is shock winner of French Champion Hurdle for Paul Nicholls

• 11-10 favourite Un De Sceaux sixth as Nicholls’s 19-1 shot prevails
• Classic winner Covert Love retired to paddocks after straining ligament

Paul Nicholls continued his strong start to the new jumps season when winning the French Champion Hurdle with Ptit Zig, who responded well to first-time blinkers to score at 19-1. Un De Sceaux was the 11-10 favourite but faded into sixth in the latter stages of the three-mile contest at Auteuil.

“I’m delighted!” said Nicholls. “Sam [Twiston-Davies] has ridden the perfect race. We knew he’d stay.

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