Located just over 20 miles North East of Paris, Chantilly Racecourse was founded in 1834 since when it has blossomed into a venue which typifies what French horse racing is all about. Surrounded by lush greens and beautiful forest, the track is famous for housing the stunning Château de Chantilly, a fairy-tale château that is one the most popular historical monuments in France. The château was designed by Honore Daumet who was also responsible for the grandstand in Chantilly Racecourse, that was built in 1879 and heralded the great age of horse racing in the region.
Chantilly racing is flat, drawing the very best thoroughbred horses from all over the world. The course is home to two of the four French Classics, the Prix de Diane and the Prix du Jockey Club, which was inspired by England’s Epsom Derby and is often termed the French Derby. Chantilly is also one of the epicentres of French horse breeding, with more than 2,500 thoroughbred horses being trained locally and which ultimately go on to form around 70% of the field contesting Parisian races.
Chantilly Race Course History
The oldest of the six France Galop racecourses, Chantilly dates back to 1834 with the inaugural meeting taking place on May 15 that same year. By 1947 two new stands were incorporated into the venue. These were ordered by the Duke of Aumale, who owned the land on which the course was built and were designed in an Anglo-Norman style by the famed architect Jean-Louis Victor Grisart.
These stands were later rebuilt in 1879 by the architect of the Château de Chantilly, Honoré Daumet, and still stand today. In 1886, the Duc d’Aumale donated the racecourse to the Institut de France. By 1982, the Living Museum of the Horse was created and opened to the public.
Two years later Hollywood came calling as Chantilly was used as the venue for the racecourse scene in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill starring Roger Moore as 007 and Christopher Walken as the villainous race horse owner Max Zorin. Despite this, in 1994 the venue was under threat as France Galop considered closing the racecourse which ultimately, and fortunately, came to nothing. In 2011 France Galop added an all-weather track, the first and only one of its kind in Paris. In 2016 and 2017, Chantilly was chosen to host the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe while Longchamp was being redeveloped.
Chantilly Race Course track configuration
Interlocking track making three flat courses
Covers distances from between 1400 metres to 2400 metres
10m incline towards the finish
Chantilly race track bias
The track here is right-handed and has interlocking tracks, which make three courses in total. These cover a collective distances from 1400 metres to 2400 metres. The track is famed for its demanding home straight, which is over 600 metres long with a 10m incline heading towards the finish. It is here where very often races are won and lost.
Chantilly race track best trainers
With the great stables of the Princes de Condé located nearby, a lot of trainers consider Chantilly to be their local track. On top of this, it also happens to be one of the most prestigious tracks in the country, staging two of France’s four classics so this really is the venue of some significance for France’s race horse trainers.
Of those trainers, the top five performers are listed below.
- F Rossi (47% win rate)
- Mme M Bollack-Badel 33% win rate)
- A Fabre (23% win rate)
- Andrea Marcialis (17% win rate)
- H-A Pantall (12% win rate)
Chantilly race track best Jockeys
As with most tracks, jockeys that know the course inside out tend to do better and win more. This, of course, is the true at Chantilly too. It stands to reason then that to make the best picks, it’s worth knowing the in form jockeys at this famous French track.
Who are the top performers at Chantilly Racecourse?
- Pierre-Charles Boudot (23% win rate )
- Christophe Soumillon (16% win rate)
- Maxime Guyon (15% win rate)
- Mickael Barzalona (14% win rate)
- Cristian Demuro (9% win rate)
Chantilly racing season
Chantilly’s racing season extends throughout the entire year from January to December, taking in some 40 meetings in that period. The highlights of which are two of the most prestigious races in the France Galop calendar the Prix du Jockey Club and the Prix de Diane which are two of the four French Classics.
The Prix du Jockey Club is run over a mile and 2 furlongs and is staged each year in June. On numerous past occasions, winners of this race have gone on to win the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe as well as the Irish Derby. Chantilly also hosts the Prix Jean Prat at the beginning of July, late June each summer.
Chantilly race track stakes and Graded Stakes
- Prix du Jockey Club
- Prix de Diane
- Prix Jean Prat
Chantilly Race Course address and website
Avenue de la Plaine des Aigles, 60500 Chantilly, France