Phar Lap auctioneer catalogue unearthed

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 26th October, 2015

With racegoers flocking to Flemington for the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, Mossgreen is opportunistically holding a racing memorabilia auction devoted to Australia’s most famous racehorse – Phar Lap – from 6.30pm on Melbourne Cup eve at 926-930 High Street, Armadale.

Highlight of the sale is the recently unearthed original auctioneer’s copy (dated January 24, 1928) of the Yearling Sale Catalogue in New Zealand for the champion.

The catalogue bears the auctioneer D.W.J. Gould’s handwritten notes including references to Harry Telford purchasing Lot 41 for 160 guineas for “Davis of Sydney” and “Telford to take delivery”.

A bright red chestnut, Phar Lap (1926-1932) arrived in Sydney as a two-year-old and grew to a huge 17.1 hands (1.74 metres high), which earned him the nicknames “Big Red” and “The Red Terror”.

The horse dominated Australian racing and the public imagination, winning 37 of his 51 races (50 in Australia) and being placed second or third in five others.

At the height of his career, Phar Lap was as close to a “sure bet” as was possible in the unpredictable world of horse racing.

In 1930, he won the coveted Melbourne Cup and died, mistakenly or deliberately poisoned, two years later after winning the prestigious Agua Caliente Handicap in Mexico.  

The two-lot auction also features an amber glass statue of Phar Lap’s head estimated at $600-$1000. 

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