TDN Weekend

July 2018

TDN Weekend December 2016 Issue 9

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Page 45 of 91

continuing the long history of English trainers in the town, with the Head family being arguably the most notable to have made its home in Chantilly. Criquette and Freddy Head's great-grandfather Willie Head Sr. and their maternal grandfather Henry Jennings were both English horsemen who emigrated to France. In recent years, Jonathan Pease, Rupert Pritchard-Gordon, and Richard Gibson have all retired or moved on but recruiting new trainers to Chantilly from outside the country is high on France Galop's wish list. The superbly named Marin Le Cour Grandmaison, assistant to Matthieu Vincent, is the man responsible for encouraging and welcoming incomers. "In Chantilly it's very international, so if an English-speaking trainer wants to come we will always find a way to communicate and help them with setting up their business in France," he says. "Last year we lost Criquette Head, Francois Doumen, and Elie Lellouche, but we also had seven new trainers come to Chantilly last year and two more so far this year." GETTING THERE: If arriving by plane, Chantilly is roughly a 30-minute drive from Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, and there are also regular trains from Gare du Nord in the city to the station at Chantilly-Gouvieux, which is just a short walk from the racecourse. If travelling from England, by far the most civilised method is to hop on the Eurostar at St Pancras station in London (or you can pick it up farther south at Ebbsfleet or Ashford International). A little over two hours later you'll arrive at the Gare du Nord and can catch a connecting train to Chantilly which takes about 20 minutes.

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