Longchamp racecourse, which hosts the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, was the first venue to open up horse racing in Europe behind closed doors. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Godolphin’s Classic hopes were given a minor jolt when 2,000 Guineas (G1) hopeful, Victor Ludorum, was beaten to third place in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleu, the prep race, on Monday at Longchamp racecourse.

The trial was one of 10 races staged at the historic venue as horseracing resumed in France for the first time following an eight-week absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Summit won the 1,600 metre contest by 1 ¾ lengths from Ecrivain, with Mickael Barzalona and Victory Ludorum, a further ¾ lengths back.

The second Classic trial of the day, the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte which acts as a prep for the Classic was won by Tropbeau, the mount of Barzalona.


Khayzaraan, representing Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, ran below expectations to finish at the back of the field.

Meanwhile, the Group 2 for four-year-olds and over was won by Shaman, who held on strongly under Maxine Guyon to deny Way To Paris, the mount of Pierre-Charles Boudot, by ¾ length.

Racing was conducted with strict regulations and with no spectators, only owners and breeders being present. Jockeys and trainers wore face masks with one member of stable staff permitted to attend to their horse. Jockeys were banned from taking a shower or using the sauna. They were also instructed to leave the racecourse as soon after their races had finished.

Olivier Delloye, chief executive of France Galop, expressed his delight at the success of Monday’s racing and took to twitter to say: “Certainly we run behind closed doors. Certainly we are competing in Fontainebleau the day after the Poules...

“But what satisfaction to see this first race finally arriving. Thank you to the great teams of France Galop for their incredible work and thank you to all of you for supporting us.”