Prix Vermeille

The Prix Vermeille is a Group 1 flat horse race in France open to thoroughbred fillies and mares which are three-years-old or above. It is run over a distance of 2,400 metres (approximately 1½ miles) at Longchamp Racecourse, and it takes place annually in September.

First run in 1897, it is named after Vermeille (foaled 1853), a female racehorse who had been initially called Merveille. Although she did not have a particularly remarkable racing career, Vermeille later became a very successful broodmare. By the time this race was established her descendants had achieved seven victories in the Grand Prix de Paris, seven in the Prix du Jockey Club and nine in the Prix de Diane.

Throughout World War I the Prix Vermeille was abandoned. There were two further cancellations during World War II, in 1939 and 1940. Later in the war, in 1943 and 1944, the event was temporarily switched to Tremblay – the only runnings in the race's history to have taken place away from Longchamp.

Until recently the Prix Vermeille was restricted to three-year-old fillies only. It was opened to four-year-olds in 2004, and to older mares in 2006. The race is the final leg of a Triple Crown for three-year-old fillies – the first two legs are the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and the Prix de Diane. Six horses have won all three races, most recently Zarkava in 2008.

The Prix Vermeille takes place three weeks before the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, on the same day as two key trials for that event, the Prix Foy and the Prix Niel. The Prix Vermeille can itself also serve as an "Arc" trial, and five horses have won both races in the same year. The latest of these is Zarkava in 2008. Two other Prix Vermeille winners have won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe one year later, most recently All Along in 1983.

The distance of the Prix Vermeille, 2,400 metres, has remained unchanged since its launch. The fastest winning time is 2m 26.0s, recorded by both Pearly Shells in 2002 and Zarkava in 2008.


Leading jockey (7 wins):

  • Yves Saint-MartinGolden Girl (1963), Casaque Grise (1967), Saraca (1969), Allez France (1973), Paulista (1974), Sharaya (1983), Darara (1986)

Leading trainer (6 wins):

  • Alain de Royer-DupréSharaya (1983), Darara (1986), Daryaba (1999), Shawanda (2005), Mandesha (2006), Zarkava (2008)

Leading owner (7 wins):

  • Marcel BoussacDurban (1921), Merry Girl (1928), La Circe (1933), Corteira (1948), Janiari (1956), Arbencia (1957), Astola (1961, dead-heat)

Winners since 1970

1970 Highest Hopes 3 Joe Mercer Dick Hern Major Lionel Holliday 2:29.2
1971 Pistol Packer 3 Freddy Head Alec Head Ghislaine Head 2:34.7
1972 Paysanne (DH) 3 Jean Deforge Geoffroy Watson Baron Guy de Rothschild 2:35.6
1972 San San (DH) 3 Jean Cruguet Angel Penna, Sr. Countess Batthyany 2:35.6
1973 Allez France 3 Yves Saint-Martin Albert Klimscha Daniel Wildenstein 2:43.4
1974 Paulista 3 Yves Saint-Martin Angel Penna, Sr. Daniel Wildenstein 2:33.6
1975 Ivanjica 3 Gary W. Moore Alec Head Jacques Wertheimer 2:34.7
1976 Lagunette 3 Philippe Paquet François Boutin Marius Berghgracht 2:40.2
1977 Kamicia 3 Alain Badel Jean Laumain Mrs Henri Rabatel 2:30.5
1978 Dancing Maid 3 Freddy Head Alec Head Jacques Wertheimer 2:34.0
1979 Three Troikas 3 Freddy Head Criquette Head Ghislaine Head 2:30.3
1980 Mrs Penny 3 John Matthias Ian Balding Eric Kronfeld 2:34.9
1981 April Run 3 Philippe Paquet François Boutin Diana M. Firestone 2:32.9
1982 All Along 3 Greville Starkey Patrick Biancone Daniel Wildenstein 2:29.9
1983 Sharaya 3 Yves Saint-Martin Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:42.1
1984 Northern Trick 3 Cash Asmussen François Boutin Stavros Niarchos 2:40.9
1985 Walensee 3 Eric Legrix Patrick Biancone Daniel Wildenstein 2:32.7
1986 Darara 3 Yves Saint-Martin Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:38.7
1987 Bint Pasha 3 Pat Eddery Paul Cole Prince Fahd bin Salman 2:31.7
1988 Indian Rose 3 Tony Cruz Jean-Marie Béguigné Baron Guy de Rothschild 2:28.8
1989 Young Mother 3 Alain Badel Jean-Marie Béguigné Jean-Marie Béguigné 2:33.1
1990 Salsabil 3 Willie Carson John Dunlop Hamdan Al Maktoum 2:29.6
1991 Magic Night 3 Alain Badel Philippe Demercastel Mrs P. Demercastel 2:27.8
1992 Jolypha 3 Pat Eddery André Fabre Khalid Abdullah 2:32.8
1993 Intrepidity 3 Thierry Jarnet André Fabre Sheikh Mohammed 2:36.8
1994 Sierra Madre 3 Gérald Mossé Pascal Bary Jean-Louis Bouchard 2:35.3
1995 Carling 3 Thierry Thulliez Corine Barbe Ecurie Delbart 2:32.8
1996 My Emma 3 Cash Asmussen Rae Guest Matthews Breeding 2:31.3
1997 Queen Maud 3 Olivier Peslier Jean de Roualle Gary A. Tanaka 2:28.2
1998 Leggera 3 Richard Quinn John Dunlop Hildegard Focke 2:41.4
1999 Daryaba 3 Gérald Mossé Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:30.6
2000 Volvoreta 3 Michael Kinane Carlos Lerner Maria-Soledad Vidal 2:26.3
2001 Aquarelliste 3 Dominique Boeuf Elie Lellouche Daniel Wildenstein 2:29.4
2002 Pearly Shells 3 Christophe Soumillon François Rohaut 6C Racing Ltd 2:26.0
2003 Mezzo Soprano 3 Frankie Dettori Saeed bin Suroor Godolphin 2:26.1
2004 Sweet Stream 4 Thierry Gillet John Hammond Team Valor 2:29.5
2005 Shawanda 3 Christophe Soumillon Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:32.0
2006 Mandesha 3 Christophe Soumillon Alain de Royer-Dupré Princess Zahra Aga Khan 2:29.2
2007 Mrs Lindsay 3 Johnny Murtagh François Rohaut Bettina Jenney 2:27.0
2008 Zarkava 3 Christophe Soumillon Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:26.0

Earlier winners

* The 1961 race was a dead-heat and has joint winners.


See also

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