The best of the European thoroughbreds at Deauville!
This year for the first time, the Poules d’Essai des Poulains and the Pouliches will take place at Deauville. This move is due to the construction work on the Longchamp, which will be opened at the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October 2017.
The « Poules », as they are generally called, are two « classic » races, as the winners are the elite of the three year old fillies and colts over 1600 meters (a mile). Three years old is the most crucial age for a thoroughbred.
This year, the two Poules will be run on a straight line, and not with a turn, as is the case at Longchamp. Deauville-La Touques racecourse has a long straight- over which is also run, in August, on of the most significant mile races in the world: the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard – Jacques Le Marois.
At Longchamp, the 1.600-meter track includes a turn, which comes up quickly at the start of the race. The draw from the starting gate therefore plays a primordial role. That will not be the case at Deauville, and the Poules will be nearer to their British equivalent, the Guineas (1.000 Guineas for the fillies and 2.000 Guineas for the colts), which is also run on a straight line, on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket racecourse.
A big weekend over four days!
The kick off to the great sporting weekend will be on Friday 13th May, at 11.30am, with the 2 year old horses galloping on the racecourse, before selling at auction the next day. The sales company Arqana is organising its traditional breeze up, a sale of unraced 2 year old, whom the buyers can judge under saddle in a trial gallop. The sale itself will take place Saturday 14th May at 2pm.
Sunday 15th May is back to the sport itself with the two Poules d’Essai, and also the Qatar Coupe d’Europe des Chevaux Arabes, a Group 1 for purebred Arabian racehorses.
The weekend will finish with another excellent race meeting on Monday 16th May, hosting the Pour Moi Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary, a Group 1 for the top 3-year-old fillies. This race serves as a springboard to the next Prix de Diane Longines, which will be disputed on the 19th June at Chantilly, although is also in itself a outstanding prize.
Celebrate with the racing pros!
Traditionally, Deauville becomes the nerve centre of thoroughbred racing in the month of August, during the Lucien Barrière meeting… This year however, the party starts early thanks to this new weekend over the May bank holiday!