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Posted by admin on 2019-01-12 in 上海性息 with No Comments


After dominating Australian tracks for years – including a win at the 1930 Melbourne Cup – the legendary racehorse died in mysterious circumstances in California in 1932.

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While conspiracy theories flourished following Big Red's death, including suggestions gangsters had killed him off, poisoning had always been suspected.

A handwritten notebook of homeopathic recipes used by his trainer Harry Telford, auctioned in Melbourne in April, revealed arsenic and strychnine among the ingredients in the tonics and ointments he used on his horses.

On his deathbed in 1985, Phar Lap's strapper Tommy Woodcock admitted the horse might have died from ingesting too much of one of the tonics.

Forensic results released at Melbourne Museum showed Phar Lap had ingested a large dose of arsenic in the last 30 to 40 hours of his life.

Hair cell analysis

Intense X-rays on hair samples taken from Phar Lap showed the difference between arsenic which had entered the hair cells via the blood and arsenic which had infused the hair cells by the taxidermy process when he was stuffed and mounted at the museum.

Dr Ivan Kempson from the University of South Australia used high resolution X-rays, only available from a synchrotron light source, to detect the concentrations and distributions of arsenic in the hair samples.

Using a microscope which is able to probe minute intact samples such as hair cells, he was able to create maps showing the chemical properties of the arsenic.

Phar Lap won 37 of his 51 starts, including 14 wins in a row and the 1930 Melbourne Cup.

He went to the United States in 1932, accompanied by Woodcock, his strapper and stand-in trainer.

The New Zealand-bred gelding won his first race on US soil but died at the Menlo Park race track in California on April 5, 1932.

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