Australian racehorses have a special place in our history – and not always just for their performance on the track. Some of the true racing legends have stuck in our minds, and sometimes our hearts, for generations. It has even been said that horses like the late, great Phar Lap, were a saviour for some, being that his era fell dead centre of the Great Depression, and the great star gave hope and spirit to thousands of our countrymen. This may seem a bit of an overstatement, until you actually consider how famous Phar Lap is. Find the closest child and ask them who Phar Lap was, and the odds of getting a correct answer are pretty high.
Last week marked another historic racing milestone, as the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, at the Australian Racing Museum, celebrated the induction of betting favourite, Black Caviar, a horse with 23 starts and ZERO losses – a feat not having been equalled for the past hundred years!
In 2001, the inauguration of the Australian Racing Hall of Fame honoured five of the pasts greatest – Bernborough, Carbine, Kingston Town, Phar Lap and Tulloch. Naming the greatest Aussie thoroughbreds ever to have taken the track by storm, has since become an annual honour.
2002 - Manikato, Might and Power, Rising Fast, Wakeful and Sunline
2003 - Heroic, Malua, Peter Pan, Tobin Bronze and Vain
2004 - Ajax, Better Loosen Up, Gloaming, Poseidon and The Barb
2005 - Chatham, Eurythmic, Galilee, Gunsynd and Todman
2006 - Amounis, Makybe Diva and Shannon
2007 - Flight, Grand Flaneur and Super Impose
2008 - Tranquil Star, Wenona Girl
2009 - Comic Court, Strawberry Road
2010 - Northerly, Sky High
2011 – no inductions
2012 - High Caste, Let’s Elope, Octagonal, Redcraze and Takeover Target
2013 - Black Caviar, Crisp, Delta and Star Kingdom
The horses that have made the list are the greatest horses ever, in Australian racing history, to have donned the race saddle. Some will be household names for many a year to come. Therefore, with pride swelling our hearts (to the size of Phar Lap’s famous ticker) lets honour these Aussie greats.