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Phar Lap wins the 1930 Melbourne Cup

Phar Lap wins the 1930 Melbourne Cup.

Of the 41 Kiwi-bred winners of the Melbourne Cup, Phar Lap stands out. Timaru-born, he became a ray of sunshine during the lean years of the Great Depression.

In his first attempt at the Melbourne Cup in 1929, Phar Lap was strongly favoured but finished third behind a Kiwi-bred, -owned and -trained horse, Nightmarch. The latter could have become a true champion on the Australasian scene had he not had the misfortune to race at the same time as Phar Lap, who won 32 of his last 35 races.

Phar Lap remains the shortest-priced favourite in Cup history, winning in 1930 at odds of 8-11. Amazingly, Phar Lap won on all four days of the 1930 Flemington Spring Carnival. As a result, he carried a record 68 kg in the 1931 Cup, and could only run 8th when once again a short-priced favourite.


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Phar Lap wins the 1930 Melbourne Cup, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated