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A Man and his Horse

My all time favourite Melbourne Cup photo. It's a gem! Phar Lap's groom, Tommy Woodcock with his peoples champion Reckless the night before the 1977 Melbourne Cup. Woodcock was the strapper to the mighty Phar Lap when he won the 1930 Melbourne Cup and travelled to the USA with the horse affectionately known as 'Big Red' when he was a young man.

Woodcock trained Reckless which finished a brave second place to the Bart Cummings trained Gold And Black in the great race. That year Reckless had become the only horse to win the Adelaide, Sydney & Brisbane Cups. A great performance by both horse and the then 73 year old trainer. A Melbourne Cup triumph would have been the icing on the cake for a memorable stayer.

Hoof note: The photo was taken by Bruce Postle the night before the Cup. Reckless and Tommy Woodcock died within months of each other in 1985. Phar Lap died in Woodcock's arms while overseas in 1932.

By David Aldred, Racing Industry Executive - GM

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