Updated on 09/16/2011 7:04AM

Mutuel strike closes Longchamp


The first meeting of the year at Longchamp, France's most important racecourse, was cancelled Thursday due to a strike by parimutuel clerks.

Employees of Pari-Mutuel Hippodrome (PMH) refused to man their posts after they failed to reach agreement on a new contract with France Galop, French flat racing's governing body. As a result, two listed races, the Prix de Courcelles and the Prix Lord Seymour, have been rescheduled for Friday at Maisons-Laffitte, but Saturday's meeting at Saint-Cloud, which includes the Group 3 Prix Edmond Blanc, has also been cancelled. The balance of Thursday's Longchamp card will be made up next week at a specially created meeting at Fontainebleau.

However, Sunday's card at Longchamp, at which the Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt is scheduled to be run, is still in jeopardy of cancellation.

Job actions by PMH clerks have become an annual event in France. Last year's Grand Prix de Paris meeting at Longchamp was postponed until two days later when it was run without betting. In September, 2000, France's first all-claiming card was cancelled at Saint-Cloud, as was the Longchamp season opener on April 1, 1999.