Ozeforms Phar Lap Coverage
New Zealand born Phar Lap, Australia’s most revered racehorse, became a popular public hero because his race track deeds during the Depression in Australia.
Such was his domination that racing officials changed the rules to try to stop him winning – because he was a gelding and he was taking classics which some people wanted colts to win to boost their worth as sires.
But despite the introduction of penalties to stop him, Phar Lap kept winning.
He was also the subject of a massive betting plunge to win the 1930 Melbourne Cup, which resulted in an attempt to maim him and prevent him from starting.
He was saved from injury by his devoted strapper Tommy Woodcock, and scored the most famous Melbourne Cup win of all days later.
Known as Big Red, he won 36 races in Australia and then won an international race at Agua Caliente in record time after overcoming a hoof injury.
Only days later he died in mysterious circumstances, most likely because of accidental arsenic poisoning, causing a great outpouring of grief in Australia.
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