Summary

Suitcase was donated to the Museum on July 26th 1979 by Tommy Woodcock, the former strapper of the racehorse Phar Lap. Inside were a number of pieces of equipment used by him during Phar Lap's life, including rugs, bridles, shin pads, brush and a number of photographs (all now part of the Museum's History and Technology collection). According to Mr Woodcock, the suitcase was used in the 1930s to transport Phar Lap's equipment to the different racecourses around the country.

Physical Description

Large rectagular brown leather suitcase, with khaki cloth lining and cloth covered insert tray held in place by four metal bars. Lid is secured by two leather straps (one partially missing) and a metal lock (covered by a decorative leather panel). There is a large leather handle at the front, and the bottom and sides of the case have been reinforced with two metal bars. Attached to the case are several `Fragile' labels, and three Victorian Railways parcel duty stamps for Glenhuntly station. It has a black and red strip, Phar Lap's racing colours, painted along the sides and bottom of the case.

Significance

This large leather suitcase is a very evocative piece of Phar Lap's history, and clearly demonstrates the almost nomadic existance of a successful racehorse and his entourage. The visit of Tommy Woodcock to the Museum in 1979 - his first viewing of Phar Lap since 1932 - was well documented in newspaper and television news reports of the time, and most make mention of the `large suitcase of relics' that Tommy brought with him to donate to the Museum. It is fitting that the suitcase itself, particularly with its strong connect to Phar Lap's racing career, now joins the rest of the material as part of the registered History and Technology collection

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