Black Caviar laps Australia’s ‘wonder horse’

Anyone who has seen Black Caviar run can only marvel at the grace of such a fine beast and the ease by which she leaves the rest of the field standing. Can she give the great Phar Lap a run for his money?

The early years of the Great Depression were particularly bleak for Australia, but no matter how grim the circumstances were, one horse’s achievements continued to bolster the spirits of the public. Now, over 75 years on, Black Caviar could very well be Australia’s new ‘wonder horse’.

Phar Lap, foaled in 1926, was no doubt a legend of his time. During a distinguished career, he won a Melbourne Cup, two Cox Plates and 19 other races, and in 1932 when Phar Lap died from a mysterious illness, he was the highest stakes-winner in the world. His name was derived from the Thai word for lightning, translating roughly as ‘sky flash’, and he certainly lived up to this name.

But it took three years for Phar Lap to win a race. In fact, Phar Lap finished last in his first ever race and did not even place in the next three. Over his four-year racing career, Phar Lap won 37 of the 51 races he entered, including the 1930 Melbourne Cup. But as his achievements grew, criminals tried to stall his progress, and in early 1932, Phar Lap died of suspected arsenic poisoning. It was not until 1980 that scientific evidence could support this theory. And in 2006, it was ruled a certainty.  

Today, Black Caviar, foaled in 2006, is considered to be the best sprinter in the world. And in March this year, she was rated the top thoroughbred racehorse, as well.  Now Black Caviar is in her five year old season and has started off the Spring Racing Carnival in style, equalling Phar Lap’s record of 14 straight wins.


So, who do you think is the better horse? Racing veteran Phar Lap with his 37 wins in total, or the young filly Black Caviar who has yet to lose a race? Or is it simply too soon to tell?

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