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1st March 2007

A gem from international jockey Edgar Britt

Having just seen a video of the life and times of Edgar Britt I would like to share with you this little “gem”.

Edgar Britt saw Phar Lap at Randwick on several occasions. In fact within a year of Phar Lap dieing under mysterious circumstances in the USA he and the great Australian horse Winooka were on their way to America accompanying trainer Mick Polson and manager Ruff Naylor. The trip by sea was about three weeks. They won first up with Winooka on the west coast – San Francisco – and then went east where the press labled him “Palooka“ after failing in three races. Naylor and trainer Polson finally backed Winooka’s travelling companion ‘Trevellion’ with every last penny they had for a race in Pimlico. Of course they won and legend has it they won US$75,000, a huge amount in the depression era (1933).  Edgar was given a small share of the winnings.

By the way, Edgar has strong views on the death of Phar Lap. He says most Australian horses at that time were taken out and given a ‘green pick’ after work. In the USA they were warned that very often the grass was sprayed with a weed poison and that is what happened with Phar Lap causing him severe colic which led to his death.

There was also a question mark over insurance as he was rumored to have broken down and would never race again. Insurance cover was said to be in the vicinity of Aus £60,000. The popular theory that gangsters killed Phar Lap is rubbish says Edgar. The gangsters would have done better out of Phar Lap if he had remained alive and continued racing.

Edgar Britt’s video is titled “Britt – Aces and Kings of the Turf”

Available from: The Horseman’s Bookshop