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Phar Lap

Phar Lap (1926–1932) was a champion Thoroughbred racehorse whose achievements captured the public's imagination during the early years of the Great Depression. Foaled in New Zealand, he was trained and raced in Australia. Phar Lap dominated Australian racing during a distinguished career, winning a Melbourne Cup, two Cox Plates, and 19 other weight for age races. He then won the Agua Caliente Handicap in Tijuana, Mexico in track-record time in his final race. Phar Lap died in 1932 when he was the third highest stakes-winner in the world. In 2006 Australian Synchrotron Research scientists said it was almost certain Phar Lap was poisoned with a large single dose of arsenic in the hours before he died, perhaps supporting the theory that Phar Lap was killed on the orders of U.S. gangsters, who feared the Melbourne-Cup-winning champion would inflict big losses on their illegal bookmakers.



  

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Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual Oceania)



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