Highflyer (GB)

Courtesy of Tattersalls







Richard Tattersall, "Old Tat"
Highflyer in background




Sire Line




King Herod





Eliza, by Highflyer

Rockingham, by Highflyer

Skylark, by Highflyer





Highflyer b c 1774 (King Herod - Rachel, by Blank). Sire Line Highflyer. Family 13.

Highflyer was bred by Sir Charles Bunbury who had acquired his dam, Rachel (b f 1763 Blank), from Peregrine Bertie, the 3rd Duke of Ancaster. Rachel also produced Mark Anthony (b c 1767 Spectator) who sired the Derby winner Aimwell (b c 1782). The only sister to Highflyer is said to have died two hours after dislocating her hip while running at Nottingham in 1783. Rachel herself died in the spring of 1781.

Highflyer was named by his next owner, Frederick St John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke, at a dinner party given by Sir Charles, after the highflyer walnut trees growing in the paddock where he was foaled.

Although Highflyer remained the property of Lord Bolingbroke, after his first race he ran in the name of Mr Compton until his purchase by Richard Tattersall in the spring of 1779. Racing for three years, he was undefeated and never paid a forfeit, a fact which the General Stud Book felt obliged to report. Due to an error in an earlier racing calendar another Herod colt of the same age had been mistaken for Highflyer, which induced some old sportsmen to place wagers on the uncertainty.

Following his sale for 800 to Mr Tattersall, an astute businessman whose name is well known throughout the racehorse world as the founder of the auction firm, he ran several more times, recouping his purchase price before his retirement from the turf. He was easily the best horse of his day, winning over distances from two to above four miles and earning over 9,000 guineas during his short career.

His impeccable pedigree included two crosses of the Byerley Turk, whose male line he helped to perpetuate, two of the Godolphin Arabian, three of the Darley Arabian and two of the Curwen Bay Barb. As one of the four dominant sires in the latter half of the eighteenth century, along with Eclipse, King Herod and Matchem, Highflyer was thought to be well suited for crossing with Eclipse mares, although his best son, Sir Peter Teazle was devoid of Eclipse.

He went to stud at Ely, Cambridgeshire, along with Pumpkin (ch c 1769 Matchem) and Tandem (b c 1773 Syphon), commanding an ever increasing fee, said to have been as high as fifty-one guineas, as his offspring continued to prove themselves, earning about 1200 guineas per annum in his later years. His offspring included three Derby winners, Noble (b c 1783), Sir Peter Teazle (br c 1784) and Skyscraper (b c 1786), four St Leger winners, Cowslip (b f 1782), Omphale (b f 1781), Spadille (b c 1784) and Young Flora (b f 1785), along with the Oaks winner Volante (b f 1789).

His success enabled Mr Tattersall to build Highflyer Hall which was named in his honour. The hall can be seen in the above portrait by John Boultbee. Along with his hall Mr Tattersall established a fine broodmare band, and although he rarely raced any young stock himself he has the distinction of breeding the St Leger winner Cowslip (b f 1782 Highflyer) and the Oaks winner Yellow Filly (ch f 1783 Tandem).

Mr Tattersall also bred Sister to Cowslip (b f 1789 Highflyer), the dam of the St Leger winner Sancho, Deceit (ch f 1784 Tandem), the dam of the Oaks winner Parisot (br f 1793 Sir Peter Teazle), Maid of all Work (b f 1786 Highflyer), the dam of the Oaks winner Meteora (b f 1802 Meteor), and Highflyer Mare (b f 1785), the dam of the Derby winners Didelot (b c 1793 Trumpator) and Spread Eagle (b c 1800 Volunteer).

Highflyer was Champion Sire from 1785 to 1796, and again in 1798. He died at Highflyer Hall in October of 1793, and had inscribed on his gravestone: "Here lieth the perfect and beautiful symmetry of the much lamented Highflyer, by whom and his wonderful offspring the celebrated Tattersall acquired a noble fortune, but was not ashamed to acknowledge it." Richard Tattersall died in February of 1795.

Highflyer King Herod Tartar Croft's Partner
Cypron Blaze
Rachel Blank Godolphin Arabian
Sister to South Regulus
Soreheels Mare
Race Record
At 3: won an 800 guineas sweep at Newmarket, Second October, beating Lord Grosvenor's Justice (br c 1774 Herod), Mr Douglas's Bourdeaux (gr c 1774 Herod), Sir C Bunbury's Sweet Marjoram (ch f 1774 Herod) and one other over the Ditch In Course (2 miles, 97 yards), with four others paying a 100 guineas forfeit.
At 4: all at Newmarket, won a 100 guineas each sweep, Second Spring, worth 2500 guineas, beating Lord Clermont's Il'mio (b c 1774 Herod), Mr O'Kelly's Thunderbolt (ch c 1774 Eclipse), Mr O'Kelly's Jupiter (ch c 1774 Eclipse), and six others over the Beacon Course (4 miles, 1 furlong, 138 yards), with sixteen others paying a 100 guineas forfeit, won a 25 guineas each sweep worth 525 guineas, July, beating the Duke of Grafton's Stormer (br c 1774 Goldfinder), Mr Pigot's Satellite (ch c 1774 Eclipse) and Lord Clermont's Dragon (gr c Herod) over the Beacon Course, won the 1400 guineas subscription purse, First October, beating Il'mio, Mr R Vernon's Firm (b c King Herod) and Jupiter over the Beacon Course, won  a 100 guineas Plate, beating Mr Harvey's Pearl (ch f 1773 Doge), Sir John Moore's Vestal (ro f 1774 King Herod) and one other over the Beacon Course, collected 400 guineas in forfeits at Second October, won a 500 guineas match, Houghton, beating Lord Clermont's Dictator (ch c 1773 Matchem) over the Beacon Course.
At 5: won a 450 guineas sweep, Newmarket First Spring, beating Mr Stapleton's Magog (gr c 1773 Matchem) over the Beacon Course, won a 200 guineas each sweep, beating Lord Ossory's Dorimant (ch c 1772 Otho) and Dictator over the Beacon Course, walked-over for a 10 guineas each sweep worth 200 guineas at Nottingham, walked-over for the Great Subscription purse, August 25, worth 295 plus 50 sovereigns, at York, won the Great Subscription, August 26, worth 295 plus 50 sovereigns, at York, beating Sir J Pennyman's Venetian (b c Doge) over four miles, won the 100 guineas King's Purse at Lichfield, beating two others in three-mile heats, his last race.
Notable Highflyer Mares
Cowslip (b f 1782), winner of the St Leger Stakes.
Dimple (ch f 1794), dam of two July Stakes winners, Spindle (b f 1806 Shuttle) and Cambric (b c 1807 Shuttle).
Sister 3 to Escape (b f 1792), dam of the Doncaster Cup winner Alonzo (b c 1798 Pegasus).
Evelina (br f 1791), dam of the St Leger winner Orville (b c 1799 Beningbrough) who was later twice Champion sire. Evelina also produced the good stallions Paulowitz (br c 1813 Sir Paul), sire of the Two Thousand Guineas winner Archibald (b c 1829), and Cervantes (b c 1806) sire of the One Thousand Guineas and Oaks winner Neva (b f 1814).
Fairy (b f 1782), dam of Bedford* (b c 1792 Dungannon) who was sent to Virginia where he was a valuable stallion.
Grey Highflyer (gr f 1782), dam of the good stallion Hambletonian (b c 1792 King Fergus), winner of the St Leger Stakes, and the Doncaster Cup twice. He sired Goosander (b f 1805), the taproot of Family 6-c, and Whitelock (b c 1803) the sire of Blacklock (b c 1814), a Champion Sire, and tail-male to St. Simon (br c 1881 Galopin).
Harriet (b f 1783), dam of Hoomes's Stirling (b c 1791 Volunteer), a useful stallion in Virginia.
Highflyer Mare (f 1780), dam of Alexander Mare (b f 1790 Alexander), taproot of Family 2-n, the latter the dam of the Champion Sires Rubens (ch c 1805 Buzzard) and Selim (ch c 1802 Buzzard), the Oaks winner Bronze (br f 1803 Buzzard), as well as Election Mare (b f 1814 Election), taproot of Family 2-r, and Orville Mare (br f 1809 Orville), taproot of Family 2-s.
Highflyer Mare (b f 1785), dam of two Derby winners, Spread Eagle (b c 1892 Volunteer) and Didelot (b c 1793 Trumpator).
Highflyer Mare (b f 1784), dam of Lightfoot's Oscar (br c 1795 Saltram) who was sent to Virginia where he stood with distinction.
Highflyer Mare (b f 1793), dam of Bolter's Dam (b f 1801 Trumpator), taproot mare of Family 4-p.
Highflyer Mare (b f 1790), dam of the worthy stallion Dick Andrews (b c 1797 Joe Andrews), sire of the St Leger winner Altisidora (ch f 1810), the Two Thousand Guineas winner Cwrw (br c 1809) and the Oaks winner Manuella (b f 1809). Dick Andrews also sire the distinguished stallion Tramp (b c 1810), sire of five classics winners, many notable broodmares, including Trampoline (ch f 1825), taproot of Family 1-t, and several good stallion sons, including Liverpool (b c 1828) and Lottery (br c 1820).
Huncamunca (br f 1787), dam of the Derby and St Leger winner Champion (b c 1797 Pot8os), 2nd dam of the One Thousand Guineas winner Charlotte (b f 1811 Orville), 2nd dam of the Oaks winner Maid of Orleans (b f 1806 Sorcerer), 2nd dam of the Woodcote Stakes winner Rivulet (ch f 1813 Rubens), and 3rd dam of the Derby winner Mameluke (b c 1824 Partisan).
Sister 1 to Lethe (br f 1785), dam of Gabriel* (b c 1790 Dorimant) who stood in Virginia where he sired Ogle's Oscar (b c 1800).
Maid of all Work (b f 1786), taproot of Family 17-a, and dam of the Oaks winner Meteora (b f 1802 Meteor). She was also 3rd dam of the Two Thousand Guineas winner Interpreter (b c 1815 Soothsayer).
Sister to Maid of all Work (b f 1789), dam of the St Leger winner Sancho (b c 1801 Don Quixote), and 2nd dam of the Doncaster Cup winner Rasping (b c 1818 Brown Bread).
Sister to Maria (b f 1792), the 2nd dam of both the Goodwood Cup winner Scarecrow (b c 1813 Canopus) and the good stallion Waverley (br c 1817 Whalebone). Waverley sired the St Leger winner Don John (b c 1835) as well as The Bard (b c 1833) and The Saddler (br c 1828).
Moll in the Wad (b f 1791), dam of the three useful Irish stallions, Buffer (b c 1798 Prizefighter), Escape (ch c 1802 Commodore), and Rugantino (ch c 1803 Commodore).
Omphale (b f 1781), winner of the St Leger Stakes.
Sister to Pharamond (br f 1784), dam of the Oaks winner Caelia (br f 1790 Volunteer) and the Derby winner Fidget Colt (br c 1794 Fidget).
Prunella (b f 1788), taproot of Family 1-e, and dam of the Derby winner Waxy Pope (b c 1806 Waxy), the Oaks winner Pelisse (br f 1801 Whiskey), and one of the most important mares in the stud book, Penelope (b f 1798 Trumpator), the taproot of Family 1-o.
Rachel (b f 1790), ran 3rd in the Oaks to Caelia (br f 1790 Volunteer), and taproot of Family 17-d.
Skypeeper (br f 1789), ran 2nd in the St Leger to Tartar (ch c 1789 Florizel), and taproot of Family 5-g.
Sister to Skyscraper (b f 1788), dam of Violante (b f 1802 John Bull), taproot of Family 3-h.
Sister to Skysweeper (br f 1791), taproot of Family 3-j, dam of Wasp (b f 1811 Gohanna) the taproot of Family 3-k, and 2nd dam of the good stallion Lanercost (br c 1835 Liverpool) who won the Cambridgeshire Stakes and the Ascot Gold Cup. He was sent to France in 1853.
Stargazer (br f 1782), winner of the Doncaster Cup and dam of the stallion Teddy the Grinder (b c 1798 Asparagus).
Volante (b f 1789), winner of the Oaks Stakes.
Young Flora (b f 1785), winner of the St Leger Stakes.

Eliza b f 1791 (Highflyer - Augusta, by Eclipse). Sire Line Highflyer. Family 1-a. Bred by Dennis O'Kelly and later owned by Christopher Wilson, she ran for three years with considerable success. From six starts in 1794 she won three, including the Town Plate at Newmarket, and placed second in another three, including the Oaks, won by Lord Derby's Hermione (br f 1791 Sir Peter Teazle). In 1795 she again won three of six and placed third twice. Her portrait by Francis Sartorius, said to illustrate her wonderful stride, was taken of her victory in the Produce Stakes at York. She also won the Richmond Cup, beating Mr Clifton's Eustatia (f 1791 Highflyer). Her third placings came in the Doncaster Stakes, won by Beningbrough (b c 1791 King Fergus) and in the Doncaster Cup, won by Hambletonian (b c 1792 King Fergus). In 1796, her final season, she won yet again three of six, including victories in the King's Plate at York, beating Mr Clifton's Mary Ann (b f 1791 Sir Peter Teazle), the Great Subscription at York, beating Beningbrough, and the Doncaster Stakes, beating Sir Harry Vane Tempest's Orphan. She placed second in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket, won by Mr Durand's Play or Pay (b c 1791 Ulysses) and third in a 50 purse at Newmarket. In the stud she produced the Doncaster Cup winner Scud (b c 1804 Beningbrough), himself the sire of the Derby winners, Sailor (ch c 1817) and Sam (ch c 1815), and the Oaks winner Shoveler (b f 1816).

Other Notable Offspring  
Delpini (GB)
[ex-Hackwood] (gr c 1781). Bred by the Duke of Bolton and raced by Sir Frank Standish, he was described as looking much like an Arabian with a light body and beautiful head with a prominent eye, and according to "the Druid" he filled Yorkshire with leggy grey progeny, most of whom could stay four miles. He was said to have retained his beauty despite wasting away and not shedding his coat for the last three years of his life. In 1784 he won the Bolton Stakes at Newmarket, First Spring. In 1785 he won a 100 guineas each sweepstakes at the same place. In 1786 he won a 200 guineas each sweepstakes at Newmarket, First Spring. In August he won a 25 guineas each Subscription at York, beating Mr Wentworth's Verjuice (b c 1782 Highflyer) and two others over four miles, and the next day won another Subscription, beating Mr Garforth's Faith (gr f 1779 Pacolet) and one other over four miles. A winner of eight consecutive races before he was twice defeated, in 1786 and 1787 at Newmarket, both times by Rockingham (b c 1781 Highflyer), and having gone lame, he was retired from the turf. In the stud he got more than eighty winners, with the 1794 St Leger, won by Beningbrough (b c 1791 King Fergus), having three grey Delpini colts among its eight starters. He sired two Oaks winners, Scotia (gr f 1799) and Theophania (b f 1800), and the St Leger winner Symmetry (gr c 1795). He died in July of 1808.
Noble (b c 1783), winner of the Derby Stakes.  
Rockingham (b c 1781), sire of the Oaks winner Bellina (ch f 1796).  
Skylark b c (GB) 1786 (Highflyer - Mare, by Chedworth's Snap). Sire Line Highflyer. Family 21. Bred by Richard, 1st Earl Grosvenor, he won the Fortescue Stakes, the Prince of Wales's Plate, the Jockey Club Plate, the Oxford Cup twice and a King's Plate at Newmarket. He was later sent to Russia.  
Spadille (b c 1784), winner of the St Leger Stakes and a useful stallion.  
Walnut (b c 1786), sire of the St Leger winner Ashton (b c 1806) and Constantia (gr f 1796), the taproot of Family 19-b, and dam of the St Leger winner Ebor (b c 1814 Orville).  

Diamond (GB) br c 1792 (Highflyer - Mare, by Matchem). Sire Line Highflyer. Family 4-b.
Escape (GB) b c 1785 (Highflyer - Mare, by Squirrel). Sire Line Highflyer. Family 27.
Sir Peter Teazle (GB) br c 1784 (Highflyer - Papillon, by Snap). Sire Line Highflyer. Family 3.
Skyscraper (GB) b c 1786 (Highflyer - Everlasting, by Eclipse). Sire Line Highflyer. Family 3.
St. George (GB) b c 1789 (Highflyer - Mare, by Eclipse). Sire Line Highflyer. Family 9.
Traveller (GB) b c 1785 (Highflyer - Sister to Proserpine, by Henricus). Sire Line Highflyer. Family 11.