Two of Phar Lap’s shoes fetch $A24,400 at auction

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Two of Phar Lap's shoes, mounted in a frame. The man pictured holding one of the shoes is his strapper, Tommy Woodcock. Photo: Mossgreen auction house
Two of Phar Lap’s shoes, mounted in a frame. The man pictured holding one of the shoes is his strapper, Tommy Woodcock. Photos: Mossgreen auction house

A pair of shoes worn by the legendary racehorse Phar Lap have fetched $A24,400, including the buyer’s premium, at an auction in Australia.

The shoes carried a pre-auction estimate of $A15,000 to $A20,000.

They went under the hammer at an auction organised by Mossgreens in Melbourne.

The shoes are steel alloy.
The shoes are steel alloy.

It follows the sale earlier this month at another auction house of a hind shoe worn by Phar Lap during his victorious 1930 Melbourne Cup run. It fetched $A38,037, including the buyer’s premium.

The steel alloy shoes in the latest auction comprised a front and rear plate. They each carry markings from the only farrier in Sydney who shod Phar Lap

They came from Phar Lap’s strapper, Tommy Woodcock.

They are mounted in a frame with a picture of Woodcock holding the front shoe. There is also a letter of authenticity from master farrier Dick Bell, and a cassette tape of Woodcock talking about the shoes in 1982.

The shoes were last sold by Sotheby’s in 2000, and were displayed for some years at the horse-racing museum at Caulfield Racecourse.

Local media report that the buyer was a collector of sports memorabilia who wished to remain anonymous.

New Zealand-born Phar Lap had an outstanding racing career in Australia.

He won 37 races from 51 starts.

Phar Lap travelled to North America by sea, and headed south to Mexico to run in the Agua Caliente Cup, which was then the richest race in North America, which he won in convincing fashion.

It was his only start across the Pacific The horse died in mysterious circumstance less than two weeks later, on April 5, 1932.

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