John Harris after John Francis Herring
The Flying Dutchman and Voltigeur
28 x 21
Looking at the size of the crowd (and the astonishing number of top hats!) we are left in no doubt that this is a very exciting and important race meeting. Voltigeur was one of the most famous racehorses of the mid-nineteenth century. He was born in 1847 and by 1850 he had beaten The Flying Dutchman in a particularly exciting Doncaster Cup. The following year in 1851 it was the Flying Dutchman's turn to win when Voltigeur was beaten by a length at York in what became known as The Great Match and is acknowledged to be the most celebrated race in British thoroughbred history. The crowd at York was rumoured to be in excess of 100,000 and the whole country became swept up in the excitement of the race. In this image we see the Flying Dutchman and Voltigeur (ridden by C. Marlow and N. Flatman respectively) going head-to-head at the finishing line.