Situated on the Northern coast of France just two hours from Paris, Normandy is a region filled with history. It is famously popular with tourists, domestic and international, as it is merely a five hour ferry ride from England. Most popular are the coastal towns, and one such town is Deauville, which is synonymous with French horse racing.
Deauville, which is internationally twinned with Kildare in Ireland and Lexington, Kentucky—if you needed further evidence of its horsey credentials—is unquestionably considered to be the home of French racing, and it also provides the base to many stud farms and trainers who show a real commitment to excellence in breeding and training horses in the area. There is even a second track in the city, Clairefontaine.
The Deauville-La Touques Racecourse, which is spread across 75 hectares, has hosted thoroughbred racing since 1864, and today it hosts a variety of races. Mainly known for being a summer track, an all-weather track was added in 2002, as well as one on synthetic sand, allowing for winter meetings to take place here also.
Deauville Race Course History
Constructed in 1862 by Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, the Duke of Morny and half-brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Deauville-La Touques Racecourse officially opened for business on Sunday the 14th and quickly became one of the first-ranked courses in all of France. It had originally been planned by Morny, with the help of his good friend Doctor Oliffe, as a way to make Deauville competitive with the towns of Brighton in England and Germany’s Baden-Baden, as well as nearby Dieppe, where races had been held since 1850. The racing venue was even erected before the town’s church.
The Duke of Morny died on March 8, 1865, a full five months before the second race meeting was due to be held, but that didn’t stop the course from continuing to thrive. In 1860, the weighing room was built by the Trouville architect Delarue, while the race course celebrated its fiftieth anniversary on August 6, 1913. Upgrades continued to be approved, and today the course hosts events all year long and has a 10,000 person capacity.
Deauville Race Course Track Configuration
Straight track, 1600 meters
Round Outdoor turf Track, 2200 meters right-handed
Round Indoor synthetic Track, 2000 meters right-handed
Deauville Race Track Bias
Deauville boasts three horse tracks. The right-handed turf race track is the main horse racing breeding area of France and stages five Group 1 Flat races during the spring and summer. The round course is one mile in length, plus there is a straight course is used for sprint races. The turning course can prove testing, with cruising speed and staying power often proving decisive and settling matters at Deauville.
Deauville Race Track Best Trainers
The best horses, the best jockeys, and the best trainers all flock to Deauville, as of course do the owners, all keen to take part in the story of this famous old racecourse. But who is doing the best in 2019?
- C. Rouget (4 wins from 9 runners)
- S. Nigge (2 wins from 6 runners)
- Wattel (1 win from 13 runners)
- Andrea Marcialis (3 wins from 5 runners)
- Barberot (1 win from 11 runners)
Deauville Race Track Best Jockeys
As Deauville creeps towards its busiest season, and by far its busiest month in August, it’s worth learning the in-form riders at this Normandy track. So far in 2019, these are the top five performing jockeys at Deauville.
- Maxime Guyon (4 winners from 24 runners)
- Cristian Demuro (3 winners from 20 runners)
- Hugo Journiac (3 winners from 9 runners)
- Mlle Coralie Pacaut (3 winners from 16 runners)
- Stephane Pasquier (2 winners from 15 runners)
Deauville Racing Season
Famed for summer racing, there are races at Deauville-La Touques most days throughout July and August, while racing is also held during March, October, and December on the all-weather track. The highlights of the season are four Grade I Classics, which draw great crowds of keen racegoers from far and wide.
Each August, just as it was when high society used to gather in days gone by, the racecourse opens its doors pretty much all month long to welcome in a high class program of events. The most famous race here is the month long Meeting de Deauville Lucien Barrièr, which includes five Group 1 gallop races: Prix Jacques Le Marois, Prix Jean Romanet, Prix Maurice de Gheest, Prix Morny, and Prix Rothschild. Look out for the Meeting d’Autumne and the Meeting d’Hive as well, the latter of which is a Christmas-time event and goes on the specially-designed synthetic sand track.
Deauville Race Track Stakes and Graded Stakes
- Prix Rothschild
- Prix Maurice de Gheest
- Prix Jacques Le Marois
- Prix Jean Romanet & Prix Morny
Deauville Race Course Address and Website
45 Hocquart Avenue de Turtot,
14800 Deauville, France