The Saint Cloud, or Val d’Or, racecourse is located on a plateau at the top of the Saint Cloud hill in Paris. Because of its extraordinary terrain, it is possible for horses to run on the grass both early in the season and late into winter making it a favourite among racing professionals. The track is relatively flat, with a long straight that lasts 500 meters and is the only left handed racecourse in Paris.
The Hippodrome de Saint Cloud is host to a number of important races including the Group One Grand Prix de Saint Cloud held at the end of June or the start of July each year, and the Critérium de Saint Cloud which runs in November. Saint Cloud’s famous spring meeting is often known as a conditioner for juveniles looking to make the step up to Group Ones elsewhere. In honour of the man who designed and opened the course, the race Prix Edmond Blanc was established in 1921. In 1992, the government declared the Hippodrome de Saint Cloud to be an official historical Monument.
Saint Cloud Race Course History
The racecourse is set in the grounds of a ninth century estate that used to be owned by Napoleon III before being destroyed in the war against the Prussians in 1871. The plot was later put up for auction in 1898 after which it came under the ownership of Edmond Blanc. Blanc was Mayor, MP and heir to the Societé des Bains de Mer in Monaco. Fortunately, he was also an important horse owner-breeder whose stud farm at Jardy was located just a few miles away.
By 1901, the racecourse was open and a new stand erected as well as the installation of a weighing room and racecourse offices. The organisers of trot racing, the Société d’Encouragement pour l’amélioration du Cheval français de demi-sang, would soon lease the track as a replacement for their racecourse at Neuilly-Levallois which had been reclaimed by the army.
In 1905 a visit of the King of England, Edward VII, put the track firmly on the horseracing map and by 1924 the Summer Olympics in nearby Paris used the racecourse grounds for their polo matches. Racing was suspended during the Second World War when the turf was used to grow fresh produce for the population and, by 1952, the track was sold to the textile manufacturer and owner-breeder Marcel Boussac. A new upgraded racecourse was opened in February 1955 before being sold again in 1974 to France Galop who still operate the course today.
Saint Cloud Race Course track configuration
Long and wide 500 metre home straight
Only exclusively left-handed racecourse in Paris
Saint Cloud race track best trainers
Saint Cloud has a particularly long season and therefore all of the leading trainers in France bring their best horses to compete at the Val d’Or racecourse. Many horses will travel from all over Europe to enjoy a run out at this historical track, that is exclusively for flat racing.
Some trainers have a higher success rate than most and these are the ones to keep an eye out for at the Saint Cloud Race Course.
- A Fabre (32% win rate)
- Mme Pia Brandt (25% win rate)
- J-C Rouget (24% win rate)
- F Rossi (29% win rate)
- A De Royer-Dupre (25% win rate)
Saint Cloud race track best Jockeys
All of the leading flat racing jockeys in France look forward to riding at Saint Cloud, a race course with a longer season than most. Across the season, the venue hosts 26 days of high quality thoroughbred flat racing and these are the jockeys who have performed well here in recent times.
- Christophe Soumillon (23% win rate)
- Pierre-Charles Boudot (17% win rate)
- Maxime Guyon (16% win rate)
- Mickael Barzalona (19% win rate)
- Cristian Demuro (13% win rate)
Saint Cloud racing season
Opening for racing in 1901, Saint Cloud racecourse’s super fertile soil remains suitable for racing on its single flat track for longer than the flat season typically lasts. The course is located in the west part of Paris and offers wonderful panoramic views of the city which visitors can appreciate while taking in any of the 26 days of racing at Saint Cloud in a season that spans March through November.
Major events in Saint Cloud’s calendar include the Grand Prix De Saint Cloud, one of the middle distance highlights of France’s mid-summer, and November’s Critérium de Saint Cloud. In March, the course honours its founder with the Prix Edmond Blanc, while the spring meeting is another high point in Saint Cloud’s season.
Saint Cloud race track stakes and Graded Stakes
- Prix Edmond Blanc
- Grand Prix De Saint Cloud
- Critérium de Saint Cloud
Saint Cloud Race Course address and website
1 Rue du Camp Canadien, 92210 Saint Cloud, France