Phar Lap: The Story of Australia’s Greatest Ever Racehorse

Geoff Armstrong, Peter Thompson

Phar Lap: The Story of Australia's Greatest Ever Racehorse
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Phar Lap: The Story of Australia’s Greatest Ever Racehorse

Geoff Armstrong, Peter Thompson

Every champion Australian racehorse since 1930 has been called ‘the best since the Phar Lap’. So will the next record breaker, because Phar Lap captured the imagination of the sporting public like no other thoroughbred ever has or ever will. This was in part because of his remarkable backstory, featuring a battling trainer named Harry Telford and a knockabout young strapper, Tommy Woodcock, who built a relationship with Phar Lap that was second to none. It was also because of the mysteries that surrounded the legendary horse. Did gangsters really try to shoot him on the eve of the Melbourne Cup? Who or what killed Phar Lap?

This revised and updated edition has all the answers. It explains why the horse cost a pittance as a yearling, was a laughing-stock when it first raced, but became unbeatable. The racing authorities tried to stop him; the desperate punters of the Great Depression loved him. The book also presents a fresh look at the controversies, reaffirming that there were no bullets in the gun and that neither the Americans nor arsenic were responsible for his death.     

As Winx was winning 33 races straight from 2015 to 2018, everyone kept asking: ‘Could she have beaten Phar Lap?’ Here, the authors compare the two Immortals from every angle, setting up the ultimate match race.

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