The Stats Guide: Prix La Haye Jousselin Steeplechase
28 November 2020
The 2020 G1 Prix La Haye Jousselin Steeplechase (5500m) is for five-year-olds and upwards. Staged at Auteuil over 5500m it is scheduled this Sunday. There are twenty-two obstacles to negotiate with the most notorious being the Rail-Ditch (known as the ‘Juge de Paix’).
Originating in 1880, the race was originally known as the Prix de la Croix de Berny and was run over 6000m before being reduced to 5600m in 1893. It was given its present title and current distance in 1903. Its new name was in memory of Edmond de La Haye Jousselin (1839–1903), a founding member of the Société des Steeple-Chases de France and a key figure in the sport as a steward and administrator of the organisation. In addition, he assisted with the design of Auteuil's racetracks and oversaw the construction of its obstacles.
In the last ten years only five different horses have won this feature event – Rubi Ball (2010,2011), Lagunak (2012), Shannon Rock (2013), Milord Thomas (2014, 2015, 2016), Bipolaire (2017, 2018, 2019).
Completing the double of the G1 Prix La Haye Jousselin (5500m) and G1 Grand Steeplechase de Paris (6000m) is a difficult task and should be recognised. Al Capone II managed to take victory in this race for an incredible seven consecutive times in the 1990s. However, he was only able to complete the double on one occasion in 1997.
Since the turn of the century, four horses have completed the big race double - Milord Thomas (2015), Remember Rose (2009), Mid Dancer (2007) and Princesse d'Anjou (2006). This year, eight-year-old Docteur de Ballon bids to be added to this list. Due to the challenges posed by coronavirus, it will be a different challenge with both races occurring in the Autumn following the rescheduling of the G1 Grand Steeplechase de Paris (6000m) six weeks ago in mid-October.
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