|Grandsire||King of the Tudors|
|Breeder||G. W. Morris|
| Fighting Fifth Hurdle (1976, 1977, 1979)|
Christmas Hurdle (1979)
Scottish Champion Hurdle (1979, 1981)
Bula Hurdle (1977, 1978, 1980)
Birds Nest (1970–1994) was a British-bred thoroughbred racehorse. In a long career as a specialist hurdler he ran six times in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse, finishing second to Night Nurse in 1976 and third behind Sea Pigeon and Monksfield in 1980. He won 19 hurdle races including the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and the Bula Hurdle on three occasions each. He also won the Christmas Hurdle and two runnings of the Scottish Champion Hurdle, beating some of the best hurdlers of all time. He has been described as the best hurdler never to win the Champion Hurdle. Throughout his career, he was known for being a difficult and temperamental horse, with a tendency to veer left when under pressure.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses that are known for their agility, speed, and spirit.
A hurdle race in Great Britain and Ireland is a National Hunt horse race where the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles that are over three and a half feet high. They are typically made of a series of panels made of brush and are flexible. Hurdle races always have a minimum of eight hurdles and a minimum distance of two miles (3 km).
Birds Nest was rated at 176 by Timeform in the seasons 1975/6 and 1976/7. At the time of his retirement he was the joint-third highest rated hurdler in the organisation's history, after Night Nurse and Monksfield and equal with Golden Cygnet.In their book A Century of Champions, John Randall and Tony Morris ranked Birds Nest the ninth best British or Irish hurdler of the 20th century.
Timeform is a sports data and content provider located in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England founded in 1948 to provide information to fans, bettors, and others involved in the horse racing industry. The company was purchased by the sports betting exchange Betfair in December 2006. Since 2 February 2016, it has been owned by Paddy Power Betfair.
Monksfield (1972-1989) was an Irish-trained National Hunt racehorse who won the Champion Hurdle in 1978 and 1979. He also won the Aintree Hurdle at Aintree Racecourse three times - including a dead-heat with Night Nurse, one of his two greatest rivals.
Golden Cygnet was a racehorse who was described in the 1979 Irish Racing Annual by legendary Irish trainer Vincent O'Brien as "the best hurdler I've ever seen". His hurdling career lasted less than 5 months, as a result of the fatal injury he sustained in the 1978 Scottish Champion Hurdle.
Sea-Bird (1962–1973) was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career which lasted from 1964 until October 1965 he ran eight times and won seven races. Sea Bird is most famous for his victories in two of Europe's most prestigious races: the Derby and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. His Timeform rating of 145 remains the second highest flat figure behind Frankel's rating of 147 awarded by that publication.
Sea Pigeon (1970–2000) was an American-bred, British-trained racehorse who excelled in both National Hunt and flat racing. In a racing career which lasted from 1972 until 1981 he competed in eighty-five races, and won thirty-seven times. He was best known for his performances in hurdle races when he won the Champion Hurdle on two occasions. He was also one of the best flat stayers of his era winning major handicap races under weights of up to 140 pounds. As a gelding, he was ineligible to compete in the most prestigious flat staying races, such as the Ascot Gold Cup. On his retirement he was described as Britain's "best known horse after Arkle and Red Rum.
Storm Bird was a Canadian-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was the outstanding European two-year-old of 1980, when he was unbeaten in five races, including the Anglesey Stakes, National Stakes, and Dewhurst Stakes. His subsequent career was disrupted by injury and illness, and he was well beaten in his only race of 1981. He was then retired to stud, where he became a successful breeding stallion.
Charlottown was a Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career which lasted from 1965 until 1967 he ran ten times and won seven reces. He is best known for winning the 1966 Epsom Derby.
Night Nurse was an Irish-bred English-trained National Hunt racehorse. Night Nurse garnered 35 wins, winning a total of £174,507 viz. He won 3 races on the flat at 3 and 4-years old and placed 3 times; he also won 32 National Hunt races, 19 wins over hurdles and 13 wins in steeplechases from 64 starts. He was awarded the highest Timeform rating ever given to a hurdler and has been acclaimed amongst the greatest ever hurdlers.
Big Game (1939–1963) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from April 1941 to October 1942, the colt, who was owned by King George VI, ran nine times and won eight races. He was the best British two-year-old colt of his generation in 1941 when he was unbeaten in five starts. Two further wins the following spring including the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket took his unbeaten run to seven, but he suffered his first defeat when odds-on favourite for the wartime "New Derby". He won his only other race in the Champion Stakes before being retired to stud. Big Game's royal connections and racecourse success made him one of the most popular horses of his time.
Dunfermline (1974–1989), was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and Broodmare. In a career which lasted from July 1976 until August 1978, she ran twelve times and won three races. In 1977, the year of her owner, Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee, she won two of the five British Classic Races. She won The Oaks against other fillies in June and in September added St. Leger Stakes, beating the double Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Alleged. She raced without winning in 1978 before she was retired to stud.
Reliance was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. Unraced as a two-year-old, Reliance won his first five races as a three-year-old in 1965 including the Prix du Jockey Club, Grand Prix de Paris and Prix Royal Oak. He sustained his only defeat when finishing second to Sea-Bird in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He was then retired to stud where he had some success as a sire of winners.
Floribunda (1958–1979) was a British-bred Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. A specialist sprinter, he won his first three races (including the New Stakes by wide margins before his two-year-old season was curtailed by injury. In 1961 he was beaten in his first two races before returning to his best to win the King George Stakes and Nunthorpe Stakes. He was retired to stud at the end of the season and had mixed success as a sire of winners.
Molvedo, (1958–1987) was an Italian Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. The leading Italian two-year-old of 1960, he missed the first half of the following season through injury but returned to win his remaining four races, establishing himself as the top racehorse in Europe and one of the best horses ever trained in Italy. The highlight of his career came in France's most prestigious and valuable race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October, in which he defeated a strong international field. He was retired to stud at the end of 1961 and had some success as a breeding stallion.
Princely Gift (1951–1973) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career which lasted from 1953 until 1955 he ran twenty-three times and won nine races. After showing good, but unexceptional form in his first two seasons, he improved significantly in the summer of 1955 and ended his career with a record-breaking win in the Portland Handicap. Having been awarded one of the highest Timeform figures of the decade, Princely Gift was retired to stud at the end of the season and had considerable success as a sire of winners.
Bula (1965–1977) was a British National Hunt horse who won two Champion Hurdles and many other top races over hurdles and later over fences. He ran during what is considered a ‘golden period’ for two mile hurdlers in the 1970s, which featured such champions as Persian War, Comedy Of Errors, Night Nurse, Monksfield and Sea Pigeon. Bula was “a remarkably consistent, versatile and durable jumper” and was known for his come-from-behind style.
Crow was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was one of the best three-year-olds in Europe in 1976 when he won the classic St Leger Stakes and finished second in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He went on to win the Coronation Cup as a five-year-old in 1978. After his retirement from racing he stood as a breeding stallion in the United States and Australia with limited success.
Aurelius was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic St Leger Stakes in 1961 and for becoming one of the few classic winners to compete in steeplechases. As a two-year-old he finished fourth in his only appearance but was one of the best colts in Britain in the following year, winning the Craven Stakes and the King Edward VII Stakes before taking the St Leger. He was even better in 1962 when he won the Hardwicke Stakes and was narrowly beaten in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He was retired to stud but had serious fertility problems and later returned to the racecourse where he had a reasonably successful career in National Hunt racing.
Twilight Alley was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. A series of physical problems restricted him to four races a track career which lasted from July 1962 to July 1963. On his third racecourse appearance he defeated a strong field to win Britain's most important long-distance race, the Ascot Gold Cup. He broke down injured on his only subsequent appearance and was retired to stud where he had some success as a sire of steeplechasers.
Privy Councillor was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, best known for winning the classic 2000 Guineas in 1962. After winning three minor races as a two-year-old he went on to win the Free Handicap in the spring of 1962 before recording an upset win in the Guineas. He never won again and made little impact as a breeding stallion.
Clarissimus was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was highly rated as a juvenile and showed promise by winning the Clearwell Stakes on the second of his two starts. He recorded his biggest when winning the 2000 Guineas on his debut as a three-year-old. Clarissimus went on to finish second in the Newmarket Stakes and a substitute St Leger before winning the Champion Stakes on his final appearance. After his retirement from racing he became a breeding stallion and had considerable influence as a sire of broodmares.
Camaree was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She showed promise as a juvenile when she won twice and finished second in the Prix Thomas Bryon. She reached her peak in the following spring when she took the Prix Vanteaux and was then sent to England where she recorded her biggest victory in the 1000 Guineas. She ran unplaced when favourite for the Epsom Oaks and was retired from racing. She had little success as a broodmare.