Longchamp Racecourse Guide

Situated in the middle of a gigantic park twice the size of New York’s Central Park in the Bois De Boulogne region of France, Paris Longchamp- often referred to just Longchamp – is undoubtedly the premier horse racing facility in the country, staging the biggest races of the French racing calendar including the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe and the course hosts more than half of the season’s Group One races.

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Tips

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Longchamp Major Meetings

Longchamp is the home of the majority of the French racing calendar’s top-level races, hosting racing all through the summer including both the French 1000 and French 2000 Guineas races and the premier fixture of the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe meeting which covers two top class days’ racing where in addition to the named feature race the likes of the Prix de L’Abbaye and Prix Royal-Oak feature.

Other notable big races at the track include the Grand Prix de Paris, Prix Ganay and Prix Vermeille.

Longchamp Track Characteristics

The racecourse at Longchamp consists of five courses that intersect and combine to make the Paris-based layout one of the best tests in Europe, demanding yet fair on horses and with three locations for the finishing line the course can cater for a wide range of races from the minimum trip of five furlongs upwards to races of two miles plus.

The Grande Piste, the track which hosts the Arc is the main course and a circuit of the course measures around 1m 6f. Crossing two intersections before entering its own stretch of course where the most notable feature of the track looms large in the shape of the false straight. As the field navigates a sweeping bend out of the back straight the curve flattens out almost completely and gives an illusion of a straight which can see riders commit too early. However there’s one final bend to negotiate before entering the home straight proper.

There is a straight five furlongs course which hosts the biggest of the sprint races including the Prix de L’Abbaye which is known as the Ligne Droit course; the other courses are the Moyenne Piste which is a slightly shorter version of the Grande Piste course and shares many of its’ characteristics; the Petite Piste which is oval in shape and much like those courses found in the US. The Nouveau Piste is the last of the five courses at Longchamp, starting beyond the false straight of the Grande Piste and is the further point from the stands. 

All of the round courses – the Grande Piste, Moyenne Piste and Petite Piste are undulating in nature with 100ft between the lowest and highest points of each track.

Longchamp Draw Bias

Regardless of the course being used the draw tends to point towards those being drawn near to or against a running rail being preferred. Certainly on the Grande Piste it can be an advantage to be on the far rail when exiting the false straight as those who are forced to race wide can give up valuable yards compared to those who have the rail to help.

This bias can be more pronounced when the ground rides quick; on more testing conditions the effect of the draw is far less of an advantage.

Longchamp Leading Trainers

Over the past five seasons Jean Claude Rouget has been the man to keep onside at Longchamp, boasting a 29% strikerate from his runners and returning almost 15 points of profit; while Mikel Delzangles and Stephane Wattel also return positive figures.

Francois Henri-Graffard and Andre Fabre both feature on the top trainers’ table for Longchamp although followers of either would be running at a loss despite both trainers enjoying plenty of success. Fabre’s runners especially in the Prix de L’Arc De Triomphe are deserving of extra attention.

Meanwhile, John and Thady Gosden’s runners are also worth a second look when sending a team to Longchamp. 

Longchamp Leading Jockeys

Mickael Barzalona and Theo Bachelot are the riders in profit at Longchamp over the past five seasons, although top riders Christophe Soumillon, Cristian Demuro and Maxime Guyon also feature highly on the list of top jockeys at Longchamp over the past five seasons.

Longchamp Track History

Racing has been taking place at Longchamp since 1857 with the first meeting at the track attended by then French ruler Napoleon III who sailed down the River Seine on his royal yacht. Racegoers would often arrive by boat down the river until1930.

1863 saw the inaugral running of the Grand Prix De Paris, at the time the richest race in the world and it would continue to be considered so for the next 50 years. During wartime Longchamp has twice been the casualty of bombings, first during the 1870 Seige of Paris during the French Revolution, and again in 1943 during WW2 when a bomb fell on the track during racing. 

During World War One the track and grounds of the racecourse were used both as an airfield and as a field hospital. In 2015 Longchamp closed its’ doors to allow for redevelopment and for the next years the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe was relocated to Chantilly; Longchamp reopened its’ doors in 2018 with a 10000-capacity grandstand befitting of a course of the stature of Longchamp.

Longchamp Racecourse Address

Longchamp racecourse address is...

2 Route des Tribunes 75016

The course is situated in Paris between the Bois de Boulogne and the River Seine.

Longchamp Racecourse Directions

By train: The course operates a free metro shuttle service on major race days, operating from both Porte D’Auteuil and Porte Maillot. For UK racegoers the Eurostar train calls at Paris Gare Du Nord from London St Pancras.

By bus: City services 43, 241 and 244 each serve the racecourse although the 43 service only serves the racecourse on weekends.

By road: 
From the north: Take the Porte Maillot exit then Allée de Longchamp; 
From the south: Take the Porte Molitor exit, Boulevard d'Auteuil then Boulevard Anatole France; From the city centre: Take the Porte d'Auteuil exit, Avenue de la Porte d'Auteuil then Boulevard Anatole France.

Parking at the racecourse is subject to availability but can be prebooked in advance.

By air: Paris has two airports, Charles De Gaulle and Orly; both are accessible by commercial flights from the UK. Travel time to Longchamp from either airport is around one hour depending on the onward travel method.