‘The Vincennes marathon’, as it’s nicknamed, has often crowned the racetrack’s top trotters. Created in 1942, it was first run over 3,450m, before stepping up to its current trip of 4,150m in 1994.
Jardy, the last trotteur to score a Grand Prix de Paris treble © ScoopDyga
Gélinotte, Bellino II, Vourasie and Jardy all lifted the race three times, and all achieved the feat back-to-back. Legendary Jamin, Toscan, Une de Mai and Eléazar captured the event twice, like Up And Quick more recently (race record-holder clocking 1’13’’5). Ourasi won as a 9yo in 1989, the only year he was beaten in the Prix d’Amérique. Likewise, Abo Volo (1996), Général du Pommeau (2002), Jag de Bellouet (2004) and Ready Cash (2013) are other notable victors, but none of them scored the same year they lifted the Prix d’Amérique either.
Depriving Bold Eagle of the Triple Crown last year, Lionel has provided Norway with its sole Grand Prix de Paris trophy. Swedish-bred trotters have scored three times thanks to Piper Cub (1990), Remington Crown (1999) and Maharajah (2011) and US-breds have done it twice thanks to Apex Hanover (1966) and Timothy T (1974). However, since 1960, the French-breds have globally come out on top, as they have far more experience over long distances: France : 51 wins - Sweden: 3 - USA : 2 - Norway : 1
The 'Pope of Vincennes', the late Jean-René Gougeon, is still well out in front with 7 triumphs: Une de Mai (1970-1973), Bellino II (1975-1977), Katinka (1983) and Malouin (1985), while his brother Michel (3 wins) scored with Ourasi in 1989 when 'JR' started having health problems. Since the 90s, Bernard Oger has scored three times with Vourasie, but champion driver Jean-Michel Bazire has managed 5 titles, 3 with Jardy (2005-2007) and 2 with Up And Quick (2014-2015). In the modern era, only two Swedes have managed to beat the 'Frenchies': Stig H. Johansson with Piper Cub in 1990, as well as 'Iceman' Örjan Kihlström twice, last year with Lionel and in 2011 driving Maharajah. Belgian Jos Verbeeck has scored twice too, thanks to Abo Volo (1996) and Remington Crown (1999).
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