Situated in the suburbs of Paris, this is the only left-handed Group 1 track in France and from the air, it appears to have an almost spiral configuration. There is a chute into the track, which is just over 4-furlongs long and is mainly used for the start of the longer distance races, although in the early season there are some sub-5-furlong races for juveniles over 900m. With tight left-handed bends, it does favour a horse that can race prominently, as the ability to race in the front rank and hug the inside rail can be a huge advantage on better ground.
A low draw is preferable, especially over the middle distances, but it is possible to overcome a wide draw, especially on deeper ground. On Heavy ground, there can be a significant advantage in coming across to the stands rail. The watering of the center of the track during the summer often leaves a drier strip of ground along the stands rail and so if the going is described as “Heavy”, certain knowledgeable jockeys will head to the stands rail in search of better ground. As a result, those drawn wider over the middle distances, who race 2 or 3 wide around the bend, can be ideally placed to head for that rail.
The final Group 1 of the European season is run at Saint-Cloud in October over 10-furlongs. Whilst it is a Group 1, this is often run on extremely deep ground and can prove a severe test for the 2-year-olds involved, so it is worth treating this form with caution when the following season comes around.
Feature Races: Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, Criterium de Saint-Cloud
Leading Trainers: Jean-Claude Rouget (23%), Andre Fabre (21%), Pascal Bary (19%)
Leading Jockeys: Christophe Soumillon (17%), Olivier Peslier (15%), Maxime Guyon (14%)
Betting Pointers: Winning Favs (26.4%), Placed Favs (57.5%), Leading Owner – Khaled Abdullah (21%), Most profitable trainer – Mikel Delzangles (LSP + £22.60), Most profitable jockey – Maxime Guyon (LSP + £6.50)