France is home to one of the most prestigious horse races in Europe, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, which takes place at Longchamp Racecourse, Paris. The event takes place each year on the first Sunday of October and is a big crowd draw, with racing fans flying to France from around the globe to catch a piece of the action. The race winners are regarded as champions and with a prize fund of 4 million Euros; it is currently the world's second richest turf race. The Longchamp racecourse also hosts the Grand Prix de Paris, another big event in the French horse racing calendar.
Other classic horse racing events in France include the Prix du Jockey (French Derby) and the Prix de Diane (French Oaks). Both events are held at Chantilly Racecourse, just north of the French capital.
Major French horse racing events also take place in Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse and Marseille, but it is often the races in or near Paris that hold the biggest appeal. Paris is a popular tourist destination and racing fan are more than willing to book hotels close to the racecourses or in the city centre and turn their trip into a small holiday. The city is home to the country's two biggest international airports, a well-integrated public transport system and great access to national transport links, so international racing fans will have little difficulty travelling to the big events.