Moscow Flyer a legend we will never forget


With the news that Moscow Flyer recently passed away at the age of 22 I thought it only right to look at his career.

Sire Moscow Society
Dam Meelick Lady

Moscow Flyer was foaled in 1994 bred by Edward Joyce, Owned by Brian Kearney and Trained by Jessica Harrington. Moscow Flyer was raced 45 times Winning 27 races and placing 2nd four times and 3rd three times and won 13 Group 1 races and Barry Gerraghty saddled him for 26 of his victory’s, Moscow Flyer’s victory’s weren’t cheap either earning a cool £1,167,892 on his travels. His notable wins are listed below.

Major wins
Royal Bond Novice Hurdle (1999)
Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle (2000)
Morgiana Hurdle (2000)
December Festival Hurdle (2000)
Punchestown Champion Hurdle(2000)
Denny Gold Medal Novice Chase (2001)
Craddockstown Novice Chase (2001)
Arkle Challenge Trophy (2002)
Swordlestown Cup Novice Chase(2002)
Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase (2002, 2003)
Tied Cottage Chase (2003, 2005)
Queen Mother Champion Chase (2003, 2005)
Fortria Chase (2003, 2004)
Tingle Creek Chase (2003, 2004)
Melling Chase (2004, 2005)
Punchestown Champion Chase (2004)

As you can see Moscow Flyer won some very prestigious races, and will be sorely missed not only by connections but everyone who remembers his races.

Moscow Flyer never won a Bumper. He came third in two of his four bumpers. He was quickly changed to hurdling after the usual one season of competing in bumpers.

It was here that Moscow Flyer showed how good a horse he was.He won the 2000 December Festival Hurdle claiming the notable scalp of Istabraq who fell at the last when in contention. Moscow Flyer himself fell two out in that season’s Grade 1 AIG Europe Champion Hurdle when in contention. The effect of Foot and Mouth ruined his chances in the Champion Hurdle with the Cheltenham Festival abandoned in 2001.

In the 2001-2002 season Moscow Flyer was campaigned over Fences as a Novice chaser.He had won 3 races and fell twice enroute to the Arkle.He won the Arkle by 4 lengths making it look easy.

Moscow Flyer returned to the Festival for the 2003 Queen Mother Champion Chase having won four races out of five that season.His only defeat came in the Tingle Creek Chase when brought down by  Flagship Uberalles after running into the back of Flagship after Flagship had made a blunder leaving B Gerraghty on board Moscow with nowhere to go.

In the 2004 season he won his first 3 races going into the Queen’s Mother Champion Chase and started as the 5-6f he made a bad blunder 4 from home and unshipped Gerraghty who had no chance of staying onboard,the mistake gifted the race to the second Fav Azertyuiop.

Going into 2005 season Moscow Flyer tried to retain the Queen’s Mother Champion Chase and exact revenge on Azertyuiop,after heavy market support Moscow started as the 6-4 Fav. Azertyuiop made a bad blunder at the water jump and never looked comfortable as a result finishing 3rd,Moscow went on to hold off a late challenge from Well Chief to win.He also retained the Tingle Creek Chase extending his winning streak to seven straight wins.His only defeat that season came by a short head to Rathgar Beau at Punchestown. Rathgar Beau was the first to beat Moscow Flyer when he didn’t fall since Colonel Yeagar on 18 April 2001. That had been four years and 25 races ago.Moscow was retired at the end of the 2005-2006 Year as he ended that Season without a win.

Barry Gerraghty recently wrote what Moscow Flyer meant to him and I have included a section of that below.

Barry Gerraghty

“I was only just getting going as a rider when Moscow came along, I needed a flagship horse to get my career going, and he was that flagship horse. I owe an awful lot to Moscow Flyer. I’m sure that he opened a lot of doors for me that would have been very difficult to open without him”.

“And he was more than a flagship horse, he was a horse of a lifetime. He was my first Cheltenham Festival winner, my first Grade 1 winner. He was a very special horse for me. He was at the time, and he always will be”.

Jessica Harrington described Moscow Flyer as “the horse of a lifetime” after the death of the dual Champion Chase winner, at the age of 22, was announced on Friday 21 October 2016.

Jessica also added the comments below clearly shows how much connections thought about Moscow Flyer.

“People forget how good a hurdler he was. He was winning Grade Ones around the time of Istabraq. He was very smart but completely different over fences.

“Without a shadow of doubt, I think the day he was at his best was Sandown in the Tingle Creek”.

“That day it all went like clockwork against two other brilliant horses”.


I hope I have done Moscow Flyer proud by this tribute and that you have found it an interesting and enjoyable read.

Written by Charlie Mcgreevy for 3Furlongs Out