A focus on the history of the French Guineas

A focus on the history of the French Guineas

02 May 2016

The first trial of the Poules d'Essai in France was held in 1840 at the Champ-de-Mars (Paris) with a race open to colts and fillies. The Duc d'Orléans-owned Gyges was the first horse to put his name on the winners list of this contest initially run over the distance of 2,000 meters. It will however only be the year after that the first edition of the Poule d'Essai was registered as the distance was moved to 1,500 meters. It was Fiametta who won this edition under the colours of Auguste Lupin. In 1883, one Poule d'Essai for the colts and one for the fillies were organised for the first time.

The Poules d'Essai has his name after the total prizemoney collected. It was a pot of money from the total entries collected on the year of the birth of each possible contender. The amount of money was given to the winning trio.

The Poules d'Essai was held at the Champ-de-Mars racecourse until 1987, the year of its transfer to Longchamp racecourse. Exceptionally in 2016, the race will be hosted in Deauville as the New Longchamp is under construction.

The equivalent of the race across the Channel is known since 1809 as the « 2.000 Guineas » as a reference to the prizemoney allocated to the winner of the race. The contest dedicated to the fillies only was created in 1814 under the name of the « 1.000 Guineas ».
In Ireland, the « Irish Guineas » was unveiled in 1921 for the colts and fillies and in 1922 for the fillies only. For the records, the crack Triptych was the only female in history to have grabbed the « Irish Guineas » against the males. 

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