Phar Lap Essay

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Explain the significance of Phar Laps death to Australian history The depression was a hard and cruel time for Australians and they needed a hero to look up to. Don Bradman gave Australia hope but Phar Lap was a whole other story. He gave Australia something to believe in and reassured them that the hard times would pass. Phar Lap was one of his kind but he was also the world’s greatest horse. Phar Lap was originally born in New Zealand where he was to be sold to American David Davis. Davis took one look at the horse and refused to accept delivery but after some discussion it was agreed that Davis would pay for the horse but that Harry Telford, Phar Lap’s to be trainer, would lease the horse for three years, paying all expenses in exchange for two-thirds of all prize money. Phar Lap started off disappointingly and performing poorly in his early races as a two-year-old and was known for clownish behaviour. Phar Lap was one of the most famous and victorious horses in Australian racing history. Nicknamed the ‘Red Terror’, ‘Big Red’ and ‘Bobby’, the chestnut gelding won 37 of 51 starts, including at one stage 14 straight wins, won 32 of his last 35 starts, gained 3 second places and 2 third places and was among the highest stake winners in the world. Phar Lap became the horse racing ‘superstar’ of radio, newspapers and cinema newsreels. The people most linked with his success – trainer Harry Telford, strapper Tommy Woodcock and jockey James Pike – became celebrities, frequently photographed and quoted because of their connections to the famous horse. In 1930, Phar Lap became favourite for the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most significant horse race even though he was carrying 15 pounds over the weight for his age. When Phar Lap won the 1930 Melbourne Cup, he became the first ‘odd-on’ favourite to win in the whole history of the event. He had one nearly every major race

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