Flying Fox (horse)

Flying Fox (1896–1911) was a champion British Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 1899 English Triple Crown and was the leading sire in France three times.

Flying Fox
Imagette Flying Fox.jpg
Flying Fox, c.1905
CountryUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
BreederEaton Stud
OwnerHugh Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster
TrainerJohn Porter
Record11: 9-2-0
Major wins
New Stakes (1898)
Criterion Stakes (1898)
2,000 Guineas (1899)
Epsom Derby (1899)
St. Leger Stakes (1899)
Eclipse Stakes (1899)
Jockey Club Stakes (1899)
Princess of Wales's Stakes (1899)
8th U.K. Triple Crown Champion (1899)
Leading sire in France (1904, 1905, 1913)
LNER Class A1 locomotive no. 4475
Last updated on 29 January 2011


He was sired by Orme who in turn was sired by Ormonde, the 1886 Triple Crown winner. Their victories made owner Hugh Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster, the only person to own two English Triple Crown winners. His dam was the high-strung mare, somewhat aptly named Vampire, by Galopin. Vampire also produced these horses from six matings with Orme: Flying Lemur (£1,325, a stud failure); Vamose (£5,604 and at stud in France with limited success) and Pipistrello (a non-winner and useless as a stallion), Wetaria, and Vane (produced the Royal Hunt Cup and Ebor Handicap winner, Weathervane). Flying Fox was intensely inbred (3m x 2f) to Galopin.[2]

Racing careerEdit

Flying Fox was a very difficult colt to handle and only raced for two years. However, he met with enormous success under trainer John Porter, whom the National Horseracing Museum says was "undoubtedly the most successful trainer of the Victorian era."[3] Flying Fox won three of his five starts at age two, and then at age three went undefeated while becoming only the 8th horse in history to win the Triple Crown. In his sixth and last race of his season and of his career, he won the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket.

Stud recordEdit

The Duke of Westminster died near the end of 1899 and the following year Flying Fox and many of the other horses in his stable were put up for auction. Purchased for a record 37,500 guineas by the prominent French sportsman Edmond Blanc, he was brought to Blanc's Haras de Jardy horse breeding operation at Marnes-la-Coquette in what is today part of the western suburbs of Paris.

Flying Fox, c. 1900

Standing at stud at Haras de Jardy, Flying Fox enjoyed considerable success and was the leading sire in France three times, with his progeny earning £203,400 in prize money.[1] Among his first crop was the colt Ajax, an undefeated winner of the Prix du Jockey Club as well as the Grand Prix de Paris who himself became a leading sire. Ajax was the sire of Teddy, who sired Sir Gallahad III plus the mare La Troienne who is widely regarded as one of the most influential broodmares in the history of modern Thoroughbred breeding. Flying Fox's other progeny included numerous top class winners including Val d'Or and Dagor. Descendants of Flying Fox include Gallant Fox and Citation, the 1930 and 1948 United States Triple Crown Champions and U.S. Hall of Fame colt Coaltown.

Flying Fox died at Haras de Jardy on 21 March 1911 at the age of fifteen. His skeleton is at the horse museum at Château de Saumur with a memorial at Eaton Stud in Cheshire, North West England.


In 1925 the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) began a tradition of naming locomotives after winning racehorses;[4][5] LNER Class A1 locomotive no. 4475 (later no. 106, BR no. 60106) was named Flying Fox after this horse, and remained in service until December 1964.[6] A 24-class sloop was also named for the horse; HMS Flying Fox was launched in 1918 and served for only a few years before becoming a training ship alongside in Bristol. When the Royal Naval Reserve unit headquartered in her moved ashore, the new establishment was also named HMS Flying Fox and remains active to this day.


Pedigree of Flying Fox (GB), bay stallion, 1896
Orme (GB)
b. 1889
b. 1883
Bend Or
ch. 1877
Rouge Rose
Lily Agnes
b. 1871
Polly Agnes
b. 1879
b. 1872
Flying Duchess
St. Angela
b. 1865
King Tom
Vampire (GB)
br. 1889
b. 1872
br. 1854
Flying Duchess
b. 1853
The Flying Dutchman
ch. 1881
b. 1872
b. 1871
Jeu d'Esprit (family: 7-d)

Note: b. = Bay, br. = Brown, ch. = Chestnut

* Flying Fox was inbred 2x3 to Galopin. This means that the stallion appears once in the second generation and once in the third generation of his pedigree.


  1. ^ a b Ahnert, Rainer L. (editor in chief), Thoroughbred Breeding of the World, Pozdun Publishing, Germany, 1970
  2. ^ Morris, Simon; Tesio Power 2000 - Stallions of the World, Syntax Software
  3. ^ National Horseracing Museum: John Porter Archived 2016-03-20 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2011-1-29
  4. ^ Boddy, M.G.; Fry, E.V.; Hennigan, W.; Proud, P.; Yeadon, W.B. (July 1963). Fry, E.V. (ed.). Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., part 1: Preliminary Survey. Potters Bar: Railway Correspondence & Travel Society. p. 50.
  5. ^ Nock, O.S. (1985). British Locomotives of the 20th Century: Volume 3 1960-the present day. London: Guild Publishing/Book Club Associates. pp. 70–71. CN9613.
  6. ^ Boddy, M.G.; Neve, E.; Yeadon, W.B. (April 1973). Fry, E.V. (ed.). Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., part 2A: Tender Engines - Classes A1 to A10. Kenilworth: Railway Correspondence & Travel Society. pp. 72–73, 218, fold-out sheet inside rear cover. ISBN 0-901115-25-8.

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