Craon Racecourse – France

Craon is a town in the Mayenne department situated 30km south west of Laval in North Western France. With around 4,500 habitants, the region is well known for its many racecourses, as well as being one of the main areas for trotting. The thoroughbred training centre of Sennones-Pouance is also nearby. It is well known for being the birthplace and early sparring ground of Champion Chase winner Sire de Grugy.

Number of meetings: 9

Biggest events: Grand Cross de Craon-Crystal Cup Cross-Country (Listed), Criterium de l’Ouest (Listed), Grand Prix de la Ville de Craon (Listed), Prix du Pont du Jour (Listed), Grand Steeple Chase du Conseil Departmental de la Mayenne (Listed, steeple-chase)

History: Despite only holding nine meetings a year, Craon has an exceptional race programme with Listed races programmed on five of these race days. The right-handed racecourse holds racing on the flat, over steeple-chases and in the trotting discipline, sometimes holding all three on the same card.

Craon’s history dates back to 1848, while it was most recently renovated in 2004-5. It is best known for its three-day meeting that takes place during the first weekend of September and is called “Les Trois Glorieuses”. The main feature over jumps during this meeting is the Crystal Cup race (Grand Cross de Craon), that takes in some formidable fences. The racecourse regularly draws in big local crowds at its meetings.