Home of 2 of the French Classics, the Prix du Jockey Club and the Prix de Diane, this picturesque racecourse, with its rolling bends and the impressive Chateau on the far side of the course makes it worthy of its Group 1 status. The sprint track is a straight 6-furlongs along the stands side rail and with a slight camber away from that rail, it favors horses that are drawn low and able to get quickly into stride when the gates open.
The round course is a tear drop shape, with the middle-distance races starting and finishing in front of the enclosures. With no cutaway in the home straight, there are only 2 ways to win at Chantilly, to race prominently or to ride for luck and attempt to come wide and around runners. More than any other French track, there are a significant number of hard luck stories here as jockeys hug the inside rail around the bend, but then find themselves caught in a pocket behind the horses in front.
With the tear drop shape, it can draw cause issues over longer distances, especially in the Classic races, as horses drawn in stalls 1-3 can find themselves swamped by those coming across for the first bend, which comes up within the first 2-furlongs. Whilst those drawn wider than 10 have no choice but to drop in behind runners as they will expend too much energy and cover too much ground by trying to get to the front. The last 2 renewals of the Prix du Jockey Club are great examples of this bias. In 2020, Victor Ludorum was drawn in stall 1, but didn’t break well enough to hold his position and was forced to come around runners in the closing stages and finish a never nearer 3rd. Whilst in 2021, Cheshire Academy was drawn wide in stall 19 and having been forced to drop in behind the field, he could manage only 5th place, in spite of being the fastest horse from the 3-furlong pole to the winning line.
Situated inside the main turf track, the All-Weather loop is tight around the bends, but is a very fair course as it opens out nicely in the home straight and doesn’t have the same front running bias associated with other synthetic tracks in France.
Feature Races: Prix de Diane, Prix du Jockey Club, Prix Jean Prat
Leading Trainers: Jean-Claude Rouget (23%), Andre Fabre (22%) Pascal Bary (17%)
Leading Jockeys: Christophe Soumillon (16%), Stephane Pasquier (14%) Maxime Guyon (14%)
Betting Pointers: Winning Favs (27.9%), Placed Favs (61.2%), Most profitable trainer – Romain Le Dren Doleuze (LSP +£8.60), Most profitable Jockey – Maxime Guyon (LSP +£10.40)