Will we ever see the horses galloping once more on the longest straight line in Europe? One yr after the closure of the Maisons-Laffitte racecourse on the financial determination of its proprietor France Galop, the concept of seeing horse races be held there may be not buried.
It is even clearly talked about in the context of the name for expressions of curiosity not too long ago launched on the initiative of the two principal gamers in the file: the city of Maisons-Laffitte and naturally France Galop.
The first step is to “identify operators who would have the capacity to implement an entrepreneurial project” on the racetrack web site. A venture accompanied by a “sustainable financial model” which ought to make it doable to bear the value of “the rehabilitation, marketing and management of buildings as well as the use of outdoor spaces”.
And at the identical time to guarantee the financing of the occasions organized by the Société des programs hippiques de Maisons-Laffitte, created by the metropolis after the closure of this racecourse relationship from 1878.
France Galop “open to everything”
“The city wants to set up a shopping activity, it needs to find another operator than us,” says one on the France Galop aspect. We are open to something, supplied the proposal is economically viable ”.
The nationwide organizer of flat and impediment programs additionally believes that “nothing stands in the way” of races that could possibly be organized at Maisons-Laffitte becoming a member of the calendar of premium races, that’s to say these broadcast on the Equidia channel “and sometimes internationally”.
But “wanting to organize races is not enough, we temper at the same time. It is extremely expensive and it requires that the project include other activities ”.
Give new life to the web site
This can be what Jacques Myard, the mayor (LR) of Maisons-Laffitte thinks. When the rumors of the closing of the racetrack had surfaced two years in the past, then much more when it had been recorded, the elected official didn’t hesitate to firmly oppose France Galop. The dialogue had even been damaged off for some time.
So everyone seems to be on the identical wavelength, with a standard aim: to revive a web site that’s now abandoned even when upkeep stays assured. At least partially. “It is certain that the track is not in the same state as if there was a race tomorrow”, acknowledges France Galop.
Two years in the past, the racing firm had considerably decreased the variety of positions as a part of a job saving plan signed with the unions: 30 out of 42 had thus been eradicated.
According to Jacques Myard, some buyers have already come ahead. “We have successive visits to the site, people who say they are interested,” he explains. We are open “. But tough to know extra. “The process has just been launched, it is still too early to talk about it. “
The proposals will be sifted in the coming weeks before the launch, “before the summer”, of a call for projects which will determine the successful candidate.
The training center remains a “precious place”
In addition, faced with an operating deficit of 2.5 million euros, France Galop had considerably reduced the size of the training center in 2019, which dropped from 143 hectares to 55 hectares. Many infrastructures, including the famous Penthièvre track, had been removed. At the same time, the owner had injected 1.5 million euros to carry out work on the retained perimeter.
Two years later, the training center remains “a precious place” in the eyes of France Galop, who notably assures that they’ve carried out so much throughout this winter interval to permit the coaching of some 400 racehorses recognized at Maisons-Laffitte.
“This center provides a large number of starters in the various Parisian racetracks,” provides the organizer of nationwide races. And particularly horses turned in direction of the impediment subsequently relatively turned in direction of Auteuil ”.
The proprietor ensures that the closure of the racecourse and the new configuration of the middle haven’t resulted in a departure from the professionals put in in Maisons-Laffitte, besides “a trainer who has moved to Pau (Hautes-Pyrénées)” . The middle even has relatively “a few arrivals”.