On April 5, 1932, 16 days after winning the Agua Caliente Handicap in Tijuana, Mexico, Phar Lap died in mysterious circumstances in San Francisco. At the time, the handicap was purportedly the richest race in the world. Phar Lap is a legend of Australian sporting history. The champion racehorse’s rise from humble beginnings captured the public’s imagination during the difficult years of the 1930s Depression. He failed to place in eight of his first nine starts, but went on to win 36 of his next 41 races, including the 1930 Melbourne Cup.
His heart, along with the rest of the national collection, is held in Canberra.