jeune premiere

Prix de Diane

The Prix de Diane, sometimes referred to as the French Oaks, is a Group 1 flat horse race in France open to three-year-old thoroughbred fillies. It is run over a distance of 2,100 metres (approximately 1 mile and 2½ furlongs) at Chantilly Racecourse, and it takes place annually, presently on the second Sunday in June.

Named after the mythological goddess Diana (French name Diane), the race was first run on May 18 1843. It was created as the French equivalent of the Oaks Stakes, which had been run since 1779 at Epsom in England. The distance was set 300 metres shorter than that of the English race and it has remained at this length for most of its history. As with the Prix du Jockey Club (the French Derby) the race was originally restricted to horses born and bred in France, before opening to foreign participants in 1946.

The first running to take place away from Chantilly was in the year of the 1848 French Revolution, when the race was switched to Versailles. It was not run in 1871 due to the Franco-Prussian War, nor from 1915 to 1918 during World War I. It then resumed in 1919 with the first of two post-war runnings at Longchamp before returning to Chantilly in 1921.

The race was again held at Longchamp in 1936 and also for two spells during and after World War II (1941–42, 1945–47). The 1940 running was cancelled and the other wartime races in 1943 and 1944 were run at Tremblay over 2,150 metres. The only subsequent disruption was in 1975 when the race was called off due to a strike by stable lads. The favourite to win that year had been Ivanjica.

Two winners of the Prix de Diane have also won the English Oaks – Fille de l'Air in 1864 and Pawneese in 1976. However, as the two races often take place in close succession it is not always possible for horses to compete in both events. The 1973 winner, Allez France, is the most recent of four Prix de Diane winners to subsequently win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, which was established in 1920.

The first foreign trained horse to win the Prix de Diane was Sweet Mimosa in 1970, trained in Ireland by Seamus McGrath. The runner-up that year, Highest Hopes, was also based overseas, trained in England by Dick Hern. Four years later Hern won the race with Highclere, owned by Queen Elizabeth II.

From 1977 to 1982 the race was sponsored by Revlon. The present sponsor, Hermès, has supported the race since 1983.


Leading jockey (5 wins):

  • SpreotySerenade (1848), Hervine (1851), Dame d'Honneur (1858), Mademoiselle de Chantilly (1857), Etoile du Nord (1858)
  • Charles PrattGeologie (1859), Finlande (1861), Stradella (1862), Fille de l'Air (1864), Sornette (1870)
  • Yves Saint-MartinLa Sega (1962), Rescousse (1972), Allez France (1973), Pawneese (1976), Madelia (1977)
  • Gérald MosséResless Kara (1988), Shemaka (1993), Vereva (1997), Zainta (1998), Daryaba (1999)

Leading trainer (9 wins):

  • Henry JenningsNativa (1843), Lanterne (1844), Dorade (1846), Serenade (1848), Fleur de Marie (1850), Geologie (1859), Surprise (1860), Destinee (1874), Tyrolienne (1875)

Leading owner (6 wins):

  • Auguste LupinSuavita (1845), Jouvence (1853), Deliane (1865), Jeune Premiere (1867), La Jonchere (1877), Presta (1886)

Winners since 1970

1970 Sweet Mimosa Bill Williamson Seamus McGrath Seamus McGrath 2:11.0
1971 Pistol Packer Freddy Head Alec Head Ghislaine Head 2:12.2
1972 Rescousse Yves Saint-Martin Geoffroy Watson Baron de Rédé 2:10.3
1973 Allez France Yves Saint-Martin Albert Klimscha Daniel Wildenstein 2:07.5
1974 Highclere Joe Mercer Dick Hern Queen Elizabeth II 2:07.7
1975 no race 1975
1976 Pawneese Yves Saint-Martin Angel Penna, Sr. Daniel Wildenstein 2:09.0
1977 Madelia Yves Saint-Martin Angel Penna, Sr. Daniel Wildenstein 2:10.3
1978 Reine de Saba Freddy Head Alec Head Jacques Wertheimer 2:09.4
1979 Dunette Georges Doleuze E. Chevalier du Fau Mrs Harry Love 2:08.6
1980 Mrs Penny Lester Piggott Ian Balding Eric Kronfeld 2:10.1
1981 Madam Gay Lester Piggott Paul Kelleway Geoffrey Kaye 2:06.5
1982 Harbour Freddy Head Criquette Head Ecurie Aland 2:16.8
1983 Escaline Gary W. Moore John Fellows Mrs John Fellows 2:07.8
1984 Northern Trick Cash Asmussen François Boutin Stavros Niarchos 2:11.6
1985 Lypharita Lester Piggott André Fabre Luay Tewfik Al Swaidi 2:05.9
1986 Lacovia Freddy Head François Boutin Gerry Oldham 2:07.0
1987 Indian Skimmer Steve Cauthen Henry Cecil Sheikh Mohammed 2:11.4
1988 Resless Kara Gérald Mossé François Boutin Jean-Luc Lagardère 2:07.5
1989 Lady in Silver Tony Cruz Roger Wojtowiez Mahmoud Abdul Karim 2:10.6
1990 Rafha Willie Carson Henry Cecil Prince A. A. Faisal 2:11.7
1991 Caerlina Eric Legrix Jean de Roualle Kaichi Nitta 2:10.5
1992 Jolypha Pat Eddery André Fabre Khalid Abdullah 2:09.5
1993 Shemaka Gérald Mossé Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:16.0
1994 East of the Moon Cash Asmussen François Boutin Stavros Niarchos 2:07.9
1995 Carling Thierry Thulliez Corine Barbe Ecurie Delbart 2:07.7
1996 Sil Sila Cash Asmussen Bryan Smart Luis Alvarez Cervera 2:07.3
1997 Vereva Gérald Mossé Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:08.2
1998 Zainta Gérald Mossé Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:11.2
1999 Daryaba Gérald Mossé Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:16.1
2000 Egyptband Olivier Doleuze Criquette Head Wertheimer et Frère 2:08.5
2001 Aquarelliste Dominique Boeuf Elie Lellouche Daniel Wildenstein 2:09.5
2002 Bright Sky Dominique Boeuf Elie Lellouche Ecurie Wildenstein 2:07.6
2003 Nebraska Tornado Richard Hughes André Fabre Khalid Abdullah 2:08.1
2004 Latice Christophe Soumillon Jean-Marie Béguigné Enrico Ciampi 2:07.0
2005 Divine Proportions Christophe Lemaire Pascal Bary Niarchos Family 2:06.3
2006 Confidential Lady Seb Sanders Sir Mark Prescott Cheveley Park Stud 2:05.9
2007 West Wind Frankie Dettori Henri-Alex Pantall Sheikh Mohammed 2:06.3
2008 Zarkava Christophe Soumillon Alain de Royer-Dupré HH Aga Khan IV 2:07.1

Earlier winners

* The 1874 and 1875 races finished as dead-heats but were decided by run-offs.


See also

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