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Here Comes The Sun! - Paris Summer Races

08 May 2021

Le-Trot have introduced a new initiative with the announcement of the ‘Paris Summer Races’ conducted from April through September.   

President of Le-Trot Jean-Pierre Barjon summarised the Paris Summer Races as something organised to liven up summer, and present both styles of trotting to be known as the ‘Etrier (mounted) and Sulky (harnessed) Summer Races’. The objective is for punters to understand the racing programme to enable them to follow the horses during the summer months with an emphasis on the three, four and five-year old, the up-and-coming horses of the future. The Winter Meeting which commences in November and is conducted until early March is well established while this Summer series can be used for horses to prepare for the Winter. In total, there will be twenty key meetings grouped and marketed as one major event series.   

The aim will be to have the best in the younger age groups compete in a series of mostly existing ‘semi-classique’ races [these are normally run as Group Two contests] that will culminate in qualification of a Group One final.   

This programme has been designed with the punter in mind by offering a product they can understand and enjoy while also working for the stakeholders. It is an idea is very much based on the success of this years’ Winter Meeting with known races used as the basis for horses to qualify to compete in the final.    

Both mounted and harness will be of equal importance and both will be promoted equally.   

Barjon says, ‘The DNA of racing is horses, men, punters. The whole history of trotting began in a square with a man and a horse. Today, trotting is two disciplines. The Etrier (mounted) is a fundamental discipline for us because it is this which allows us to welcome and train all our apprentices and jockeys. It is also the discipline where today women have the best chance of showing off. This is our showcase. It’s sort of a homecoming and a back to history. "  

For Barjon it is a “winter” - “summer” continuity of racing. For this past Winter Meeting it was a new concept, and this summer series is a similar but new initiative. He considers this forthcoming Paris Summer Meeting is designed to become the best time to discover racing. It will also provide an opportunity for all participants to acquaint themselves with the future stars of tomorrow. The summer circuit will be where all the good horses will have had an opportunity to compete during the summer ahead of the major Winter meeting.  

The equivalent treatment of summer and winter is now considered by the industry as being analagous to the rotation of the moon where currently, the summer races are on the dark side during winter. Le-Trot has chosen to rotate the moon and bring the summer races to light for the general-public. In turn, the moon will constantly rotate and now shine through both summer and winter.   

By focusing on age and discipline the series will use a series of existing races (notably named after historical champions) which can be used as qualifying races for the final. All Finals will be Group One contests.  

The first qualifying round of the series took place last weekend and was 4-year-old qualifying races for mounted horses. There will be two further races on 19 May and 4 June with the final being run as the Prix de President de Republique at Vincennes on 27 June to be also known as the Final des Etrier 4 years old Summer Races.  

In total, the Paris Summer Races will number 32 races (26 Qualifications and 6 Finals) spread over 20 meetings. The series commenced on March 26 (Qualif # 1 Etrier 3 years Summer Races – Prix Ali Hawas won by I Love You) and will conclude on September 19 (Final Etrier 5 years Summer Races - Prix de Normandie).  

The qualification process will prioritise the first two home in each of the qualifying rounds. Furthermore and similar to the system of qualifying to gain a start in the G1 Prix d’Amerique, there will be the opportunity to consider a horse who may have qualified and can secure a start ahead of a horse better performed with more prizemoney but failed to meet the key qualifying requirement.  

The six Finals will be: 



FINAL - Prix d' Essai (06/27) 


Qualif # 1 - Prix René Palyart (04/05) 

Qualif # 2 - Prix Henri Ballière (05/19) 

Qualif # 3 - Prix Lavater (04/06) 

FINAL - Prix President de la Republique (27/06) 

■ 5 YEARS 

Qualif # 1 - Prix Louis Forcinal (03/27) 

Qualif # 2 - Prix Jean Gauvreau (05/09) 

Qualif # 3 - Prix Victor Cavey (01/06) 

Qualif # 4 - Prix Xavier de Saint-Palais (25/06) 

FINAL - Prix de Normandie (19/09) 

Sulky Summer Races 

■ 3 YEARS 

Qualif # 1 - Prix Paul Karle (04/27) 

Qualif # 2 - Prix Masina(04/27) 

Qualif # 3 - Prix Kalmia (05/25) 

Qualif # 4 - Prix Ozo (05/25) 

FINAL - Prix Albert Viel (27/06) 

■ 4 YEARS 

Qualif # 1 - Prix Gaston Brunet (24/04) 

Qualif # 2 - Prix Gaston de Wazières (24/04) 

Qualif # 3 - Prix Phaeton (05/28) 

Qualif # 4 - Prix Paul Leguerney (05/28) 

Qualif # 5 - Prix Jules Thibaut (08/25) 

Qualif # 6 - Prix Jean Le Gonidec (25/08) 

FINALE - Critérium des 4 ans (04/09) 

■ 5 YEARS 

Qualif # 1 - Prix Robert Auvray (03/27) 

Qualif # 2 - Prix Henri Levesque (04/17) 

Qualif # 3 - Prix Albert Demarcq (05/09) 

Qualif # 4 - Prix Louis Jariel  (12/06) 

Qualif # 5 - Prix Jockey (08/21) 

FINALE - Critérium des 5 ans (04/09)