Moulin de Longchamp History: The French milers' Finale

4 September 2021

Moulin de Longchamp History: The French milers' Finale


September, ParisLongchamp

Prix du Moulin de Longchamp

Group 1 – 3-year-olds and up - 1,600m - €270,000

Created in 1957

Last winner: Circus Maximus (c3, IRE by Galileo ex Duntle, by Danehill Dancer), owned by Flaxman, Tabor, Magnier & Smith, bred by Flaxman Stables Ireland, trained by Aidan O'Brien, ridden by Ryan Moore.

Record-time: 1’35’’2, Sendawar (1999)

The race is run in 2020 for the 64th time.

The 2019 edition

Two champions milers from Ireland fought a great battle in the final stages of the Prix de Moulin de Longchamp (Gr1), Sunday, September 8 at ParisLongchamp. The 4-year-old Romanised (Holy Roman Emperor), who had just won over the same trip in the Prix Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois (Gr1) in Deauville, and his 3-year-old challenger Circus Maximus (Galileo), winner in June of the St. James's Palace Stakes (Gr1) at Royal Ascot, took over the field one out and went head to head to the wire. The younger horse passed the post only a nose ahead of his older rival and the stewards had to review the finish before leaving the result unaltered.

Line of Duty (Galileo) finished strongly in third place, only one length behind the duelists, four weeks after his third place in the "Marois". Olmedo (Declaration of War) also confirmed his return to the top with a good effort in fourth. Fifth, the winner of the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Gr1) Phoenix of Spain (Lope de Vega) also showed some progress, a little more than a length in front of Marois-second Shaman (Shamardal).

Circus Maximus had not been idle after his brave Ascot success in June. Second to the now-retired Too Darn Hot in the Sussex Stakes (Gr1), he had then again bravely fought over an extended 10 furlongs-trip in a hot Juddmonte International Stakes (Gr1) at York. He seems to be more at ease over the mile. His success is also a tribute to the class of Too Darn Hot, winner of the Prix Jean Prat (Gr1) in Deauville, then the best British mile of the Summer in Goodwood, but retired after that.

The best 3-year-old milers of 2019 have finally matched their elders, this year. The season is not over yet, and the verdict of the "Moulin" is not the end of the story. The British Champions' Day will try to shine some more light on the 2019 milers' championship, but the hopeful connections for the 2020 season must know that their babies will probably have to face some very seasoned and consistent warriors ... Which is all racing fans ask for!

Circus Maximus is the first foal out of Duntle (Danehill Dancer, pictured here). He was bred by the Niarchos family as Flaxman Stables. Duntle, however, began her career for owner Sonia Rogers. She joined the ranks of the Niarchos after winning her maiden race at 3 on the Dundalk all-weather track by 18 lengths for her seasonal bow. She remained in training with David Wachman but finished only a favourite 4th in a Guineas trial, ridden by William James Lee (rider Sunday of ... Romanised!). She skipped the classics after that to win the Sandringham Handicap (L) at Royal Ascot, then the Desmond Stakes (Gr3) two months later at Leopardstown before finishing the season with a second place in the Matron Stakes (Gr1). At age 4, she ran 5 times, won an Irish Gr3 for her comeback, then returned to Ascot where she won the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Gr2), before taking second place in the Prix Rothschild (Gr1) behind Elusive Kate. Beaten at Arlington over a little less than 10 furlongs, she bade farewell after a third place in the Sun Chariot Stakes (Gr1).

She was one of the best females of her generation on the mile.



First run in 1957, the Prix du Moulin has taken place on the main course at Longchamp since 1987.

The centenary of Longchamp racecourse in 1957 gave rise to the creation of two major new races on Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe day; the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp and the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, and while the former is still around on Arc day, the Prix du Moulin has since been moved twice. From 1974 to 1979, it was brought forward a week and made the biggest race on the last Sunday in September. In 1980 it was brought forward even further, to the first Sunday in September, as part of a move to realign the European Milers' racing calendar. The aim was to avoid a clash of dates between the Sussex Stakes and the Prix Jacques Le Marois, and between the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. As a result, the Jacques Le Marois was put back to mid-August and the Prix du Moulin brought forward to the first Sunday in September, in place of the Prix du Rond Point. As a result, the same horse could now realistically strive to win all 4 races – something no horse managed during the 20th century.

The Moulin (Mill)

The mill at the racecourse was originally part of a monastery located opposite the bac de Suresnes – whose foundation stone was laid by King Saint-Louis on 12 June 1256. The mill was destroyed along with the abbey during the Revolution and was only reconstructed, from its foundations up, when the racecourse was built in 1856. The mill was hit in the allied bombings of 4 April 1943, losing a wing and its roof, but was restored as a fake in 1949.


The Prix du Moulin de Longchamp first won sponsorship in 1986, from the Fustok stables. After three years with Fustok, the race failed to find a sponsor in 1989 before "The Emirates" (Untied Arab Emirates) took up the sponsorship for the next decade. A new sponsor was found in 2002, in the form of NETJETS, an American company specialised in fractional aircraft ownership services. From 2007 to 2018, the race was sponsored by Qatar, which resulted in the prize money rising from €300,000 to €400,000 euros. Il has been temporarily reduced in 2020 due to the Covid-19 effects on betting revenue and prizemoney.


Fillies have given a good account of themselves over the years in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. Not only did they win the first three races, but in 63 editions, they have notched up 22 wins (18 by 3 year-olds and 4 by 4 year-olds). This percentage of wins (37.5%) is much higher than the 28.6 % of wins they have recorded in the Prix Jacques Le Marois, where they have 26 wins in 91 outings. Some great fillies have won the Moulin, including Rose Royale (1957), Ginetta (1959), Hula Dancer (1963), Pola Bella (1968), Sanedtki (1978), Luth Enchantée (1983), Miesque (1987), Ridgewood Pearl (1995), Nebraska Tornado (2003), Grey Lilas (2004), Darjina (2007) and Goldikova (2008).

The Prix Jacques Le Marois and the Prix du Moulin.
Over the past 63 years, the Prix Jacques Le Marois and the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp have been won by the same horse 11 times; Hula Dancer (1963), Gravelines (1976), Irish River (1979), North Jet (1981), Luth Enchantée (1983), Miesque (1987), Polish Precedent (1989), Priolo (1990-1991), Spinning World (1997), Librettist (2006) and Ribchester (2016). They all won as 3 year-olds, with the exception of Gravelines, North Jet. Spinning World and Librettist who won aged 4, and Priolo and Ribchester, who both won as a 3 year-old at Deauville and as a 4 year-old at Longchamp.

Foreign runners
As early as its second running, the Prix du Moulin was attracting foreign interest, with the German horse Orsini going close, only to be held off by French filly Lilya, who won by half a length. The first foreign winner came in 1962, English horse Romulus recording the first of 14 wins by foreign horses to date. Irish mare Red Slipper (1965) became the first of 4 foreign horses to win in the space of 5 years. Habitat (1969), Gold Rod (1970), Sallust (1972) and Sparkler (1973) followed. French horses then held their own for a decade until 1985, and it's now a very international meeting point with the foreign victories of Roussillon (1985), Sonic Lady (1986), Distant Relative (1990), All at Sea (1992), Ridgewood Pearl (1995), Desert Prince (1998), Indian Lodge (2000), Slickly (2001), Rock of Gibraltar (2002), Starcraft (2005), Librettist (2006), Aqlaam (2009), Excelebration (2011), Ribchester (2017) & Circus Maximus (2019).



  • Aga Khan (7 wins): Rose Royale (1957), Ginetta (1959)Silver Shark (1966), Ashkalani (1996), Sendawar (1999) & Ervedya (2015).
  • Famille Niarchos (6 wins): Miesque (1987), Kingmambo (1993), Mendez (1984), Spinning World (1997) & Maxios (2013), and then Circus Maximus (2019) in partnership with Smith, Tabor & Magnier.
  • Mohammed Al Maktoum & Godolphin (5 wins): Sonic Lady (1986), Soviet Star (1988), Polish Precedent (1989), Librettist (2006) & Ribchester (2017).
  • Daniel Wildenstein (3 wins): Faraway Son (1971), Mount Hagen (1974) & Gravelines (1976).
  • Serge Fradkoff (3 wins): Sanedtki (1978), Kilijaro (1980) & North Jet (1981).
  • Khalid Abdullah (3 wins): Roussillon (1985), All At Sea (1992) & Nebraska Tornado (2003).


  • André Fabre (6 wins): Soviet Star (1988), Polish Precedent (1989), Ski Paradise (1994), Nebraska Tornado (2003), Grey Lilas (2004), Vadamos (2016).
  • François Boutin (5 wins): Delmora (1975), Mendez (1984), Miesque (1987), Priolo (1991) & Kingmambo (1993).
  • François Mathet (4 wins): Lilya (1958), Mirna (1964), Silver Shark (1966) & Pola Bella (1968).


  • Cash Asmussen (6 victoires): Mendez (1984), Soviet Star (1988), Polish Precedent (1989), Kingmambo (1993), Spinning World (1997) & Indian Lodge (2000).
  • Yves Saint-Martin (4 wins): Silver Shark (1966), Pola Bella (1968), Faraway Son (1971) & Gravelines (1976).
  • Lester Piggott (3 wins): Habitat (1969), Gold Rod (1966), Sparkler (1973).
  • Maurice Philipperon (3 wins): Pharly (1977), Irish River (1979), Luth Enchantée (1983).
  • Freddy Head (3 wins): Kilijaro (1980), North Jet (1981), Miesque (1987).
  • Gérald Mossé (3 wins): Priolo (1991), Ashkalani (1996), Sendawar (1999).
  • Olivier Peslier (3 wins): Desert Prince (1998), Goldikova (2008), Recoletos (2018).