Hewick fared best of the five Irish runners in Saturday's Grande Course des Haies (French Champion Hurdle) at Auteuil when finishing a close second behind the locally-trained winner Losange Bleu.

Ridden by Jordan Gainford, Shark Hanlon's charge was never far off the pace and had every chance at the final obstacle, racing on the stands' rail.

However, Losange Bleu - racing up the centre of the track - had been in front from halfway and had enough in reserve to hold Hewick by about a length.

John O'Connell's Mahler Mission was not beaten far in fourth place while Gordon Elliott's Irish Point was the disappointment of the race, finishing seventh under Mark Walsh.

The winner is a five-year-old by Martaline. Trained by Dominique Bressou, he was ridden by Johnny Charron. In his two previous races he had defeated the five-year-old mare July Flower who finished third today.