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The Flying Dutchman (horse)

The Flying Dutchman
The match race between The Flying Dutchman and Voltigeur
Sire Bay Middleton
Dam Barbelle
Grandsire Sultan
Damsire Sandbeck
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1846
Country Great Britain
Color Brown
Breeder Henry Vansittart
Owner Archibald Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton
Trainer John Fobert
Record 16: 15-1-0
Earnings ₤6,575[1]
The Flying Dutchman is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Barbelle by Bay Middleton. He was born around 1846 in Great Britain, and was bred by Henry Vansittart.
Major wins
July Stakes (1848)
Champagne Stakes (1848)
Epsom Derby (1849)
St. Leger Stakes (1849)
Ascot Gold Cup (1850)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on 15 May 2009

The Flying Dutchman (foaled 27 February 1846) was an English Thoroughbred racehorse who was exceptional on the track, and also an extremely influential sire.



The Flying Dutchman was by the stallion Bay Middleton, who won every race in his two seasons on the turf until he was retired due to a problem with one of his forelegs. During that time, the colt won the Riddleton Stakes, the Bruton Street Stakes, the 2,000 Guineas, the Buckhust Stakes at Ascot, the Grand Duke Michael Stakes, the Derby (against Gladiator, Venison and Slane), and his final race, a match between him and Muezzin. Bay Middleton was by the great Sultan, winner of the Derby, and out of the Oaks-winning mare Cobweb. Bay Middleton also sired Aphrodite (winner of the One Thousand Guineas), The Hermit (Two Thousand Guineas), Andover (Derby), and Fly By Night. As a broodmare-sire, he produced Ellen Middleton, and dams of Wild Dayrell, Saunterer, Mainstone, Sunbeam, and Mainbrace. His breeding career included Top Sire in 1844 and 1849.

The Flying Dutchman was out of the 15-hand mare Barbelle. The mare had Potoooooooo in her tail-female line, sire of Arquebusade, Selima, Slim, and Slight. She was by the stallion Sandbeck, who won the 1823 Club Stakes at Doncaster and 1824 York's Fitzwilliam Stakes, and produced the colt Redshank. Her other offspring included Van Tromp (by Lanercost), who was quite successful on the turf and in the breeding shed. His success led to Lord Eglinton's decision to purchase The Flying Dutchman as a yearling, for £1,000.


Like his dam, the brown colt was fairly short, standing only 15.3 hands tall. He had a long back and nicely sloping shoulders, powerful hindquarters, good bone, and was a bit over at the knee (as were many of his offspring). The roman-nosed animal also had an incredible stride and was brave, which no doubt helped him on the turf.


Pedigree for The Flying Dutchman (3)
Brown colt, 1846

Pedigree of The Flying Dutchman
Bay Middleton
br. 1833
b. 1816
ch. 1802
Mare by Alexander
br. 1809
Williamsons Ditto
Mare by Mercury
b. 1821
b. 1808
ch. 1815
br. 1836
b. 1818
br. 1809
Lucy Grey
b. 1804
br. 1822
br. 1807
Don Quixote
b. 1810
Mare by Potbos

Racing career

Trained by John Fobert, The Flying Dutchman debuted as a two-year old, and was undefeated that year. As a three-year-old, he began the season at the Epsom Derby, beating the 26-horse field in the heavy footing, although he had to be hit twice (the only time the whip was used on him in his career) to ensure he triumped over the Sir Hercules son, Hotspur. He had walk-overs at his next two races, before beating out Two Thousand Guineas winner Nunnykirk by two lengths in the St. Leger, and performing another walk-over a few days later at the Foal Stakes. He then won by forfeit, for £500, after Honeycomb (also by Bay Middleton) was withdrawn from the scheduled match race between the two. He finished the season with the Belvoir Stakes, winning by 8 lengths. At four, The Flying Dutchman first won the Emperor of Russia's Plate by eight lengths, then the 29-furlong Goodwood Stakes by 10 lengths.

It wasn't until the Doncaster Cup that he was defeated, by the 1847 colt Voltigeur (also a winner of the St. Leger and Derby). The younger colt beat the Dutchman by half a length, despite having run the St. Leger 2 days before. It is possible that this loss was due to his jockey pushing him at break-neck speed at the beginning of the race, as well as the fact that the horse was not properly conditioned, since his trainer had thought that Voltigeur would forfeit. Regardless, it was decided to scrap the original plan of retiring The Flying Dutchman after the Doncaster, and instead run him in a match race against Voltigeur to try to regain his reputation as invincible. The 2-mile race was held on May 31, 1851, for a purse of 1,000 sovereigns. Despite carrying an extra 8.5 lbs, The Flying Dutchman beat his rival by a length, and retired to stud for good.


1848: Two-year-old year

July Stakes (Newmarket): win

Sweepstakes for 400 sovereigns (Newmarket): win

£1400 sweepstakes (Liverpool): win

Champagne Stakes (Doncaster): win

Two Year Old Stakes (Doncaster): win

1849: Three-year-old year

Derby Stakes (Epsom): win

Produce Stakes (Liverpool): walk over

Bickerstaff Stakes (Liverpool): walk over

St. Leger (Doncaster): win

Foal Stakes (Doncaster): win

Match with Honeycomb: win by forfeit

Belvoir Stakes (Newmarket): win

1850: Four-year-old year

Emperor of Russia's Plate (Ascot): win

Sweepstakes for 4 year olds (Goodwood): win

Doncaster Cup (Doncaster): place

1851: Five-year-old year

Match against Voltigeur (York): win

Career at stud

During his first few years at stud, The Flying Dutchman stood at Rawcliffe Paddocks, for a fee of 30 guineas. He was later sold in 1859, for a sum of 150,000 francs, to Napoleon III's National Stud and stood there until his death in 1870. In England, The Flying Dutchman produced very little of merit, despite covering a great number of mares for that time (50 mares in his first season). He was in the Top 10 sires list from 1855-1862, making it up to second place in 1860 and 1861 mainly due to his great filly, Flying Duchess. During this time he also sired Derby-winner Ellington, some good broodmares, and good jumping horses. In France, he sired Dollar, and many other top race horses, making his time there much more successful than his breeding career in England. Additionally, his blood was sent to Australia and New Zealand through granddaughter Mermaid. Some of his get include:

  • Ellington: 1853 colt, only Epsom Derby winner that was sired by The Flying Dutchman. Was a poor sire, although a good show horse following his retirement from racing.
  • Guildermire: 1855 filly, won the Champagne Stakes, placed in the Eglington Stakes, dead-heated in the Oaks (but lost the run-off).
  • Brown Duchess: 1858 filly, won the Two Year Old Stakes, the New Stakes, St. Helen's Purse, Liverpool Cup, Stanley Stakes, and Filly Stakes and placed in the Queen's Plate, Stamford Plate, and Two Year Old Plate as a two-year-old. At three, won the Epsom Oaks, Stanley Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks, Grand Duke Michael Stakes, and Queen's Plate, dead-heated in the Doncaster Cup, and was third in the One Thousand Guineas. Went on to foal Visionary (by Loup-garou), Noblesse, and Berggeist.
  • Ignoramus: 1854 colt, won Prince of Wales's Stakes, third in Fitzwilliam Stakes, and won a number of plates.
  • Flying Duchess: 1853 filly, dam to the great racehorse and sire Galopin.
  • Pennace: 1857 filly, descendants include Ajax, Dluble Life, Precipitation, and Persian Gulf.
  • Dollar: 1860 colt, won the Prix de la Société d'Encouragement (2200 meters), Prix Principal (4,000 meters), the Grand Prix de l'Empereur (Prix Lupin), Grand Prix de l'Imperatrice (Prix Rainbow), the Brighton Cup, Great Northamptonshire Handicap, and Goodwood Cup, and ran second in the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby). Record of 19: 8-5-3. Became very influential on Thoroughbred breeding in France, with progeny including Sea Sick, Omnium II, Bruleur, Ksar (winner of the French Derby), Tourbillon (winner of thr French Derby), Ossian (winner of St. Leger), Upas (French Derby), and Androclès.
  • Dutch Skater: 1866 colt, succeeded as a long-distance runner, winning the Warwick Cup, the Great Metropolitan Handicap, the Doncaster Cup, and the 6200 meter Prix Gladiateur all at age 6. His get include Insulaire (winner of the French Derby, Ascot Derby, Claret Stakes, Queen Alexandra Stakes; second in the Two Thousand Guineas, Epsom Derby, Grand Prix de Paris, Sussex Stakes, Newmarket St. Leger, Jockey Club Cup), the filly Dutch Oven (won 9 races at 2, and the Doncaster St. Leger, Yorkshire Oaks, and Great Foal Stakes at 3). and Yellow (won the Prix de L'Avenir, the Prix à Bade, the Grand Prix du Jubilee, the Biennial, the Prix Hocquart and the Prix de Fontainebleau; sired Grand Steeplechase de Paris winner Dandolo).
  • Deliane: 1862 filly, won the French Oaks, dam to top horses including daughters Enguerrande (dead-heated in Epsom Oaks, won the French One Thousand Guineas and the Prix de Villebon, second in the Grand Prix de Paris and the Prix du Jockey Club) and La Jonchere (won the Prix de Diane, the Prix Daru and the Prix des Cars), and to son Xaintrailles (won the Prendergast Stakes, the French Two Thousand Guineas, and the Grand Poule des Produits).


  1. Ahnert, Rainer L. (editor in chief), “Thoroughbred Breeding of the World”, Pozdun Publishing, Germany, 1970

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