One of the jewels of European racing, it tests the very finest fillies in the world but Sunday’s event, dripping in glitz and glamor, is so much more than sport.
It’s also an opportunity for spectators to bask in the sophistication of a Parisian race day, where the outfits and hats are as much in focus as the horses.
The timeless Chantilly Racecourse offers a fairytale setting for the festival of racing, with the overlooking Grand Chateau one of the most spectacular historical monuments in the world.
The Grand Chateau has origins dating back to the 16th century, but was rebuilt after it was destroyed during the French Revolution. The neighboring Petit Chateau was also built in the 16th century.
Chantilly features three interlinked tracks surrounded by breathtaking woodland and the featured grandstand, which has sat proudly since 1879.
The spectacular venue has hosted the prestigious Prix du Jockey Club (the French Derby) since 1836 and the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) since 1843.
Chantilly’s Great Stables, which border the track, are also said to be one of the most beautiful sites in racing.
Due to its proximity to Paris, a race day at Chantilly attracts the cream of French society, with punters looking to escape the city.
Awaiting them is a festival of culture and al fresco entertainment, where visitors are encouraged to picnic in the middle of the track and enjoy the live music and chic craft stalls.
As well as watching the world-class racing on display, visitors are also invited to take part in a catwalk where the most elegant dresser wins a host of prizes.
The course includes an exhausting uphill home straight where many races are won and lost.