PARIS, France (AFP) - Parisian racecourse Maisons-Laffitte is to be closed next year as part of a cost-cutting measure to counter dwindling betting revenue, French racing's ruling body France Galop announced on Wednesday.
The track along the banks of the Seine will stage its last race at the end of 2019, almost a century and a half after the first was run in 1878.
"Since 2011 racing has experienced a deep reduction in the betting market," a France Galop statement explained.
"In the space of eight years, the amount staked on racing has gone down by 1.9 billion euros."
The historic hippodrome is famous for having the longest straight course of 2200m (1mile two furlongs) in Europe.
Maisons-Laffitte also serves as one of the French capital's main training centres.
The track's closure will leave four racecourses operating in the Paris region - Longchamp, Auteil, Saint-Cloud and Chantilly.