The races of the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe weekend, Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October at ParisLongchamp, will take place without open stretch. Set up on the Parisian racecourse since its re-opening in April, the open stretch proved very conclusive in terms of regularity but, for the races on Sunday, using it could have affected the ground conditions.
On Saturday, October 6, the rail will be widen to 16 metres. On Sunday, day of Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and six other Group 1 races, the actual rail will be in operation. Thus, competitors will gallop on a six metres wide strip of new ground.
France Galop's Managing Director Olivier Delloye said: "It is our duty to provide the best possible ground for all competitors so that they can all give their best. The introduction of the open stretch, even without an widened rail, would not allow us to take full advantage of a portion of ground completely new next to the rail. The open stretch naturally leads the horses to a section of the track that has been used intensively since the spring. We have decided to give up the open stretch the day before too. The open stretch has considerably improved the regularity of the races but the top priority is the quality of the course we offer. When the two do not prove compatible, the choice imposes itself. "