Longchamp race course - paris-pagescom

Longchamp racecourse - how to get there

The Hippodrome de Longchamp is in the Bois de Boulogne, which borders the west side of 16th arrondissment.

Paris arrondissment map

It is easy to get to by taxi or the nearest metro stop, Porte d'Auteuil, is about a 10 minute walk away.

Price of entry

On days when there is normal racing the entry fee is just 4€, on the first Sunday of October the entry price is doubled for the Prix de l'arc de triomphe.

Longchamp race course crowds watching the prix de l'arc de triomphe
Lonchchamp race course and the Welsh Guards

On the Arc day it gets pretty crowded as you can see from the photograph above, but on other days it is remarkably quiet considering how close it is to Paris. It seems the French aren't as interested in racing as the British.

Arc day

If you come on the day of the Arc (the first Sunday in October) you will find that English signs are everywhere, and that is because about a third of the spectators are British. You will also be offered a programme in English by a gentleman just outside the entrance. Don't waste your money. There is a free sheet showing all the details inside the gate. It is on a largish sheet of paper, but it does the job. There is also a free booklet with some betting hints, and the colours of the jockey etc., but these get harder to find as the day goes on, so if you want one come early.

The British papers are sometimes available, but the times of the race will be different, and so might the numbers of the horse, so be aware of this, and check on the free sheet before you bet.

On other days all you get is a free sheet, but the French racing papers show the colours etc, so you can buy one of these.

You are not allowed to take any alcohol into the course, however it is freely available once you are inside, and apart from champagne it is very reasonably priced.

Above is the band of the Welsh Guards marching past the winning post. I'm not sure why the French can't manage to get a band together, but these guys did a good job.

Simple betting slips explained

On the left is an annotated betting slip. There are slips that look a little like lottery tickets with all sorts of complicated bets, but they are a bit difficult to understand.

The best way is to go up to the counter and give the race number and horse number - take your sheet with you and point if you cannot manage this in French. The people behind the counter are very busy, but as long as you smile and say bonjour before you start all will be well.

On the Arc day it is best to get all you bets on early, so do them all at once. The French system takes a huge amount of tax, about 25%, so if you can place your bets with your bookie at home you will undoubtedly get a better deal. On other days you'll have to use the French system. The people behind the counter have a reputation for rudeness, but I found them OK. I smiled and it did take a while to get my first ticket done, but after that everything went smoothly.

Again on the day of the Arc if you want to see the races it is best to wait until the end to collect your winnings, then you will not be standing in a queue when the next race is running.

A Simple G is a win bet (Gagnant), a Simple P (Place) is a bet for the horse to come in the first 3 (minimum of 8 runners), an each way bet is a Cheval. They also do forecasts of 2 (couple), 3 (trio), 4 (quarte), and 5 (quinte) horses.

Below is this year's jockey S. Pasquier receiving his cup for winning, and in the centre is Rail Link the hero of the day. The lady on the right escorts all winning horses back from the finishing post to the weighing in.

Longchamp betting slip
Longchamp presentation to jockey Rail link, winner of the 2006 Arc de Triomphe Longchamp, winner's escort
On the right the jockey, Kieren Fallon, of the 2007 winner, Dylan Thomas, is presented with the prize. Longchamps Prix de l'arc de triomphe winner 2007
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