A first Prix du Jockey Club in 1836

A first Prix du Jockey Club in 1836

05 June 2016

Five days before the prestigious rendezvous, Xavier Bougon takes his pen to write the history of the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club for daily paper Jour de Galop (June, 01, 2016 edition).

Inspired by the races across the Channel, the Société d'Encouragement pour l'Amélioration des Races de Chevaux en France was created on November, 11, 1833 with the purpose of organizing horse racing in France. The company was rapidly called Jockey Club and provided its name to the race. As Chantilly had an excellent ground, the city was selected in 1834 by the Duke of Orléans to held the first edition of the race on May, 15.

As the event was well-liked, the Comity of the Société d'Encouragement decided to attach the name of Chantilly to a big trial, as it was done in England with the Epsom racecourse and the Derby. May, 16 1836 therefore marked the first Classic race run in France over the 2,500 meters distance, moved to 2,400 meters in 1843. It would only be in 2005 that the distance was reduced to 2,100 meters. The first edition of the contest counted ten entries with only five runners, and was captured by Frank for owner Lord Henry Seymour and jockey Thomas Robinson. 

With the desire of highlighting Chantilly as a prestigious place for racing, Duke of Orléans took his quarters in the castle with his brother, the Duc of Nemours, and organised receptions from 1836. The Duke won the Prix du Jockey Club in 1839 when Romulus crossed the final line first. Chantilly knew vibrant years until the Duke died in a car accident in 1842. His legacy lived on as the French Derby has become a rendezvous for all the society and one of the best race for three-year-olds thoroughbreds athletes. 

Discover full article of Jour de Galop here (Only in French).

A preview of the Prix du Jockey Club by EpiqE Series in video here. 

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