Stable companions Thousand Stars and Zaidpour will renew rivalries in the French Champion Hurdle next month after occupying the first two places in Sunday's Prix La Barka at Auteuil.
Thousand Stars had filled the runner-up spot in the Grade Two contest 12 months ago before going on to land the Grande Course De Haies D'Auteuil, and is now set to defend his crown after going one place better in the recognised trial under Paul Townend.
Zaidpour, who chased home another esteemed stablemate in Hurricane Fly in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival, ran a fine race to take the runner-up spot in the hands of Ruby Walsh.
Trainer Willie Mullins said: "He (Thousand Stars) is some star all right!
"It was another very good performance from him and the plan would definitely to go back to France with him next month.
"I thought Zaidpour ran a very good trial and I would expect plenty of improvement from him for his next run. He'll be going back to France as well."
Walsh will now have to decide which horse to ride when the pair lock horns again in France.
Mullins said: "I'd imagine he will (have a difficult decision to make). Let's just hope both horses stay fit and well."