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Two-time Cheltenham Champion Chase winner Moscow Flyer dies

The 22-year-old passed away at the Irish National Stud in Kildare, it was revealed today.

Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Queen Mother Champion Chase Day - Cheltenham Racecourse Moscow Flyer ridden by Barry Geraghty at Cheltenham in 2006. Source: EMPICS Sport

ONE OF THE great horses of National Hunt racing has died.

Moscow Flyer, who was Brian Kearney-owned and trained by Jessica Harrington, had 26 wins from 44 starts and ten Grade One victories — including the Cheltenham Champion Chase with Barry Geraghty in 2003 and 2005.

After retiring in 2006, the 22-year-old spent his final years at the Irish National Stud in Kildare, where he passed away.

“It is with great sadness that the Irish National Stud must announce the passing of the legendary Moscow Flyer at the great age of 22,” reads a statement from the Irish National Stud.

“Owned by Brian Kearney and trained by Jessica Harrington, Moscow Flyer proved a high class Hurdler in his early career. However the switch to chasing and his partnership with Barry Geraghty saw Moscow Flyer cement his place amongst the greatest of greats.

“A four length victory in the 2002 Arkle highlighted Moscow’s ability, and 12 months later he returned to Cheltenham to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase by an impressive 7 lengths. Moscow Flyer continued to dominate the division for a further two years, winning all completed starts.

“In 2006, Moscow Flyer was retired from racing, boasting a race record to be envied by all including two Queen Mother Champion Chases and two Tingle Creek victories.


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“In 2007, whilst in retirement, Moscow Flyer, added another victory to his 26 wins under rules when Kate Harrington rode the legendary chaser to a comfortable victory in the Punchestown Festival Charity Flat Race. This saw Moscow welcomed by a rousing reception to his rightful place in the winners’ enclosure for one last time.

“In 2012, Moscow Flyer was relocated to The Irish National Stud where he joined our ‘Living Legends’ team alongside greats such as Kicking King, Beef Or Salmon and Hardy Eustace.

He has enjoyed a happy retirement and has been able to meet his legions of adoring fans who have come from far and wide to see the great chaser. Moscow Flyer was also the Irish Horse Welfare Trust Equine Ambassador and made public appearances for the equine welfare charity promoting the work they do.

“Moscow Flyer will be forever immortalised through his fearless jumping, those historic battles against titans of the sport Azertyuiop, Flagship Uberalles & Well Chief. He epitomised National Hunt racing at its finest with the highs and lows, the thrills and spills and the gladiatorial nature of our great sport.

“Moscow Flyer will be sorely missed by all at The Irish National Stud. Our thoughts go out to all connections and to his adoring fans.”

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Ben Blake

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