1pt win Simonsig @5/1, 1pt win Zubayr @6/1, Auteuil, Saturday

The jumps season may have ended and most of its stars put away until autumn, but Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls all have runners in France today at Auteuil

The Grade 2 La Barka Hurdle went to a British raider last year in Ballnagour, who has another go for David Pipe – but the bookies reckon it’ll go to Ireland this time with Mullins’s Un De Sceaux, whose big reputation has been damaged by two sound beatings by Sprinter Sacre, set to go off favourite under Ruby Walsh.

It’s been a long season now for Un De Sceaux but he’ll get his ground and should run well, but Nicky Henderson’s SIMONSIG, plagued by injuries in recent years, looks the one to back.

He’s 5/1 and comes off the back of a very good performance behind God’s Own and Vautour at Punchestown, which proved he’s maintained his considerable talents despite years off the track.

He’ll be a fresh horse and has surely improved for the run, so well worth a bet.

1pt win Simonsig @5/1, 15:55 Auteuil, Saturday

Earlier on the card, Paul Nicholls runs ZUBAYR, a big disappointment when contesting favouritism in the Triumph Hurdle, who’s up against Triumph third Footpad for Willie Mullins and the home team’s odds-on favourite, Device.

Whilst Footpad didn’t turn up at Aintree and fell, Zubayr enjoyed something of a penalty kick preparation for this by winning at 1/8 at Wincanton.

Nicholls thinks his Triumph Hurdle preparation was rushed, and we certainly didn’t see the same horse that was so impressive on British début at Kempton.

The Triumph was also raced on far faster ground than he’ll experience today, so there’s plenty of reasons he should run a lot better.

I don’t know much about the favourite, but the quality of jumps racing is generally higher in the UK and Ireland and the raiders have a good record at the track.

With just seven runners, 6/1 seems like a good price to me.

1pt win Zubayr @6/1, 14:45 Auteuil, Saturday

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