Cartoon produced by Melbourne cartoonist Ron Tandberg for inclusion in The Age newspaper of Wednesday 2nd November, 2005. It was in reaction to the racehorse Makybe Diva winning the 2005 Melbourne Cup on the previous day. It was her third consecutive win of the race; the first time any horse had achieved this feat. The cartoon hints at the comparisons being made in the media, and amongst the general populace, comparing her achievements with those of the champion racehorse of the 1930s Phar Lap, who now resides inside a purpose built showcase at Melbourne Museum.

This drawing is the original artwork hand drawn by Ron Tandberg on November 1st, 2005. The cartoon eventually appeared on the front page of the following day's Age newspaper.

Physical Description

Rectangular piece of thin white paper containing a hand drawn black ink illustration of the racehorse Makybe Diva and jockey Glen Boss standing next a glass case containing the mount of Phar Lap. The two horses' noses are touching through the glass. It is signed in the lower right hand corner.


Ever since the death of the legendary race horse Phar Lap in 1932, the racing industry and the populace in general have used him as the benchmark on which to measure the performances of all subsequent champions. Throughout the media, at the track, in pubs and across the dinner table people have argued the various merits of each contender to the mantle of Australia's Greatest Racehorse and have used the achievements of Phar Lap as the yardstick .

In 2005 it was the turn of the British born mare Makybe Diva, who was favourite to win the Melbourne Cup. If successful, she would become the first horse to win three consecutive cups. Even before the race had been run, it was hotly debated whether or not her doing so would catapult her to first place to be Australia's greatest ever racehorse. Much was made of the fact whether or not it was fair to compare horses from different periods, particularly as training techniques and general horse husbandry had changed so much over a 75 year period.

Whatever your opinion on this subject, it is fair to say that the atmosphere at Flemington for the running of the cup did capture some of the electric atmosphere present during the running of the 1930 Cup race. For the first time in ages it seemed that the whole crowd were as one, willing the same horse across the finish line. People who remember distinctly Phar Lap's win were quoted as saying that Makybe Diva's win was the most exciting race they had experienced since then. Whether or not her legendary status will live on amongst the general public remains to be seen, but it is a certainty that amongst the racing fraternity the 2005 Melbourne Cup will be long remembered.

Collecting contemporary material such as this will enable the Museum in the future to demonstrate the enduring notoriety of Phar Lap, even three quarters of a century after his death, and how he remains the standard by which all other racehorses will be measured.

More Information