Chantilly Racing

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Like most things in France, horse racing has always had an air of style and sophistication about it, historically drawing the well-heeled and the rich and famous. As a result, the great French racecourses not only offer a stylish way to spend some leisure time enjoying high class racing but also offer real insights into French culture, history and leisure.

Situated some 50km from that most stylish of world cities, Paris, is Chantilly Racecourse, a venue which typifies what French horseracing is all about.

A district of Oise, Chantilly is surrounded by beautiful forest and famous for the most opulent of chateaus and all things associated with quality.

The ideal place then, for Chantilly racing.

Château de Chantilly is a majestic local attraction in the area and its architect for renovations Honore Daumet was responsible too for the grandstand in Chantilly Racecourse, built in 1879.

Although Chantilly racing predates this by some 40 years, the grandstand heralded the great age of horse racing in the region and was built against what is described as the most beautiful stables in the world.

The Great Stables were built in 1719 as stabling for the chateau estate and measure 186 metres long. Part of the stable buildings now house the Living Museum of the Horse, comprising 31 rooms filled with art depicting all things equine.

Chantilly racing is Flat racing, contested by the finest thoroughbred horses in the world. The course is right-handed with interlocking tracks, giving three courses in total covering distances from 1400 metres to 2400 metres. The course is home to two of the four French Classics; the Prix du Jockey Club and Prix de Diane.

The Prix du Jockey Club was inspired by the Epsom Derby and is often termed the French Derby in recognition of its origins. The race is run over 2,100 metres, which is around a mile and 2 furlongs and is staged in June each year to great acclaim. Several winners have gone on to win at other notable races such as the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe and the Irish Derby.
Chantilly Racing, inside rail

It is rare to have such an incredibly beautiful setting for horseracing matched in quality by the standard of the races themselves and the key to that quality is down to the district of Chantilly too, which is France’s largest horse training area.

Chantilly Racing, winner Over 2,500 thoroughbred horses are being trained in Chantilly at any one time and these go on to form 70% of the field at Parisian races. Chantilly Training Centre occupies an incredible 1,900 hectares comprising a range of facilities, and a full selection of race tracks which have surfaces including turf, sand, and dirt. There are also jumps tracks and synthetic tracks to provide the full gamut of racing possibilities.

The horse training centres in France play a large role in selections for races and this goes a long way to explaining the high standard of Chantilly racing within what is the major training regional centre. Horses are even trained on the racecourse track itself, every Tuesday. This is because the track at Chantilly offers exactly the right challenges which test the very best horses; in speed, stamina, and talent.

What this also means is an incredible spectacle at all Chantilly race fixtures, as the horses come into the demanding home straight, which is over 600 metres long with a 10m incline towards the finish. This is often the point where races are won and lost, providing the kind of thrills and excitement which marks out the very best racing on the planet. Race fans who attend Chantilly racing experience all the incredible heritage that goes with it.