What a boar - Chantilly comes under attack from unwelcome visitors
Track officials awoke to a nasty surprise at Chantilly on Tuesday morning when they discovered several wild boar had been having a high old time of it on the racecourse, just days before the Arc trials card.
The boars had dug holes in a section of the track in front of the Grandes Ecuries, near the halfway mark of the mile and a half course which will be used on Sunday for the Prix Vermeille, Prix Niel and Prix Foy.
Ground crews were scrambled to fill in the damage and clerk of the course Matthieu Vincent was quick to offer reassurance there was no danger to the weekend's action, with the boars having largely left alone the racing line.
"I must stress that everything is fine now," said Vincent, who in less than a month's time will be overseeing his second Arc.
"The problem was near the road crossing along the front of the Grandes Ecuries [Royal Stables] but almost all on the outside, stretching for about 50 metres.
"As far as the inside line of the track is concerned, near the rail, there were a few minor traces of activity, but it was nothing really. Everything has now been made good."
Chantilly is set amid sprawling forest and it is not the first time Vincent and his team have had to confront the boars, who were caught in the act of digging up a section of the Piste des Reservoirs training gallop last October.
It would be no surprise to see sanglier become the dish of the day in the racecourse panoramic restaurant on Sunday.