Horse racing memorabilia the excitement of auction day

It might have been the excitement of watching Japanese champion Mer de Glace win this year’s Caulfield Cup the day before that prompted the successful bidder at Abacus Auction’s Coins & Memorabilia, Stamps and Collectables October 20 sale to part with $24,000 for California’s 1932 Agua Caliente Racebook (lot 338) featuring Australia’s iconic legend Phar Lap who won the race (one of America’s greatest) in track record time.

Tragically, it was to be the giant horse’s last race as he mysteriously died several days later.

An equally impressive result was achieved for the 1930 W.S. Cox Plate Racebook (lot 335 – in which Phar Lap also is listed first, taking his record at that stage to 20 wins, two seconds and two thirds from 32 starts).

Australian Test cricketing great Doug Walters signed 1969 “baggy green” (lot 86) also was a popular item, changing hands for $8000.

A lovable larrikin, Walters played 74 Tests and 28 one-day internationals from 1965 to 1981. During the 1969 Indian tour, he scored 286 runs at a 40.86 average, helping Australia to win the series 3-1.

A bag of more than 600 King George V florins dated from 1911 to 1936 brought $4400, while more than 950 King George VI to Queen Elizabeth II florins sold for $4000.

A saddlecloth with the name and number of 2011 Melbourne Cup winner French horse Dunaden, signed by the jockey Christophe Lemaire, brought $3400 – while an 1896 “Heroic Conduct” gold medal awarded to Constable Maurice Patrick Normoyle for “single handedly arresting a murderous Afghan armed with an axe in the main street Fremantle” changed hands for $3200.

Albums containing one shilling coins from 1910 to 1963 was another find for collectors, bringing $2600, and a carton of  threepenny, sixpenny, one shilling and two shilling coins sold for $2400.

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