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Horse Racing: France

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France

Area:
674,843 km2
Population:
65,073,482 (2009)

France has a mature horse racing industry. The race with the largest international following is the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe held at Longchamp Racecourse on the 1st Sunday in October. The Grand Prix de Paris is also held at Longchamp but is run in mid July. The other two French Classic Races are Prix du Jockey Club (the French Derby) and the Prix de Diane both held in June at Chantilly Racecourse.

Feature Race: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is a Group 1 flat horse race in France which is open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older. It is run at Longchamp over a distance of 2,400 metres (about 1 miles), and it is scheduled to take place each year, usually on the first Sunday in October.

Popularly referred to as the "Arc", it is the most prestigious horse race in Europe, and one of the most renowned international events in any sport. Many winners of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe are subsequently regarded as champions, and its roll of honour features such highly acclaimed racehorses as Ribot, Sea-Bird, Mill Reef and Dancing Brave. With a prize fund of 4 million euros, it is presently the world's second richest horse race contested on turf, after the Japan Cup.

A slogan of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, first used on a promotional poster in 2003, describes the event as "Ce n'est pas une course, c'est un monument" – "Not so much a race as a monument".

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