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Maisons-Laffitte RacecourseThe City of the Horse

More than just a racecourse, Maisons-Laffitte is one of the cradles of racing in the Paris region. Although it has an excellent track, it is its training centre that has met with the most success. Today, the municipality of Maisons-Laffitte, with its vast and highly distinctive park, really can claim to be a veritable ‘city of the horse’, where all different types of equestrian activities take place side-by-side.

The Maisons-Laffitte Training Centre, which today houses around 600 horses, is the closest training centre to Paris. Because it was run for a long time by the ‘Société des Steeple-Chases’, which presided over jump racing before its merger in the 1990s, it has always accorded a very important place in the training of horses for this speciality. Traditionally, therefore the biggest jump racing stables are based here.

The racecourse itself is located by the Seine, just near to the Château de Maisons-Laffitte. It has the rare distinction of including both left-hand and right-hand courses, thanks to its total of 4,680 metres of track. It also has the longest straight in Europe of 2,000 metres. Only the racecourse at Newmarket, in England, has a straight of a similar length.

How to get there ?

1, Avenue de la Pelouse - 78600 Maisons-Laffitte

By train:
From Saint-Lazare to Maisons-Laffitte (direction Cergy)

Metro:
RER Line A (direction Cergy)

Taxis:
Place de la Libération - Tel.: 01 39 62 21 72

By car:
From Paris La Défense - Pont de Bezons; after Sartrouville Bridge, turn right.
From Pontoise, Poissy and Versailles, Saint-Germain en Laye, Maisons-Laffitte town centre; go through the entry gates to the park and continue straight ahead until Place Wagram, then take the second road on the right.

Services

  • Bureau de Change

  • ATM

  • Binocular rentals

  • Gift shop

  • Easy Racing area: Understand racing, learn to bet.

Food service

  • Panoramic Restaurant "Coronation"
    At the heart of the action with a panoramic view of the track

  • Brasserie "Tanerko"

  • Grand Bar (Drinks, Hot-Dogs, paninis, pastries).

  • Bar du 1ère étage – first floor (Drinks, sandwiches, pastries).

  • Bar des Balances (Drinks, sandwiches, pastries).

  • Bookings: 01 42 88 84 85
    reservationhippodromes@groupe-casino.fr

Prices

 Full priceReduced priceParking
Weekday5€3€Free
Weekends or public holidays8€5€3€
Grands Prix 4*10€8€3€
Grands Prix 5* Prix de Diane Longines20€16€5€
Grands Prix 5* Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe30€27€10€

Grand Prix 4*: Prix Ganay, Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris, Prix du Jockey Club, Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, FG Garden Party Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris, Meeting de Deauville Lucien Barrière, Qatar Arc Trials, Les 48 heures de l'Obstacle.

For futher information and tickets: billetterie.france-galop.com.

Reduced price: for those that have a France Galop Club card, students, over 60s, job-seekers, and those accompanying handicapped people. 

Free entry for under 18s, PMU card holders (except Grand Prix 5*), and handicapped people.

Main events

  • July 23 - Prix Robert Papin (Group 2), Grand Prix de Maisons-Laffitte (Group 2).
  • July 16 - Prix Eugène Adam
  • October 13 - Critérium de Maisons-Laffitte (Group 2).

Maisons-Laffitte in numbers

Racecourse:

25 meetings in 2016;

Capacity 20,000 people;

92 hectares;

3 tracks:
One right-handed track (1,600 to 3,200 metres);
One left-handed track (1,400 to 2,400 metres);
One 2,000 metre long straight-line track;
35 different starting points.

Training centre:

130 hectares of training grounds;

20 km of turf gallops;

10 km of sand gallops, and 30 km of warm-up tracks and access paths;

A 1.5 km All-Weather gallop;

Around 600 horses are stabled at Maisons-Laffitte

History

Before the creation of the racecourse in 1878, the Maisons-Laffitte name was historically linked to horseracing because private races were held there regularly. On the 7 June 1878 Joseph Oller, the founder of the Pari Mutuel, presented a draft plan for a racecourse on land that he had rented by the border of the Seine. After several trotting meetings, flat racing began to make its presence felt with more and more mixed discipline days.

After several reincarnations and numerous changes of owner, the Maisons-Lafitte racecourse passed into the control of a new association, the ‘Société Sportive d’Encouragement’, whose president, Eugène Adam had already served on a number of occasions as the director of Maisons.

The law of the 2 June 1891 regulating the Pari Mutuel, which adopted the system invented by Joseph Oller, permitted racing societies to significantly grow their revenue, and to increase the number of tracks and their prize money. Maisons-Laffitte benefited greatly from this, leading many trainers to base themselves there. Also ‘La Sportive’ – the nickname given ‘La Société Sportive d’Encouragement’ – decided to stay at Maisons. It succeeded in becoming the owner of the racecourse and its outbuildings in 1892 and 1895 respectively. Another advantageous development for the racecourse happened in 1898 when a new railway station opened on its doorstep, thanks to a special junction off the Paris-Mantes line via Poissy. Public attendance rose considerably, necessitating the site to be further developed and improved. The tracks had already been widened and a weighing room built in 1889. In 1899, the tracks were extended and the scales area enlarged. In 1904, new stands were unveiled. In 1902, automated starts were introduced, replacing tape starts. These American-designed starting stalls had first been tried out at Maisons in late 1896.

In 1952, 2,100 racehorses were recorded at the training centre at Maisons. This made up two thirds of the thoroughbreds in the Paris region, with the rest based in and around Chantilly. However, in 1964, the number of thoroughbreds at Chantilly overtook that of Maisons-Laffitte. In 1972, a programme to rebuild the stands and stables at the Maisons racecourse was finished, two years in advance. With this, it became one of the most modern racing venues in Europe, and along with Newmarket, could boast of being the only one to have a straight course of 2,000 metres.