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Phar Lap Details


Phar Lap, the legendary New Zealand-bred racing horse, is as well-known today for his mysterious death as for his fabulous accomplishments in life. Beginning at the end, the film flashes back to the day that Phar Lap, despite his lack of pedigree, is purchased on impulse by trainer Harry Telford (Martin Vaughan). Phar Lap loses his first races, but Telford's faith in the animal is unshakable. Suddenly the horse becomes a winner, thanks to the love and diligence of stableboy Tommy Woodcock (Tom Burlinson). American-promoter Dave Davis (Ron Leibman) arranges for Phar Lap to be entered in several top races, where his "long shot" status results in heavy losses for the professional gamblers. Just after winning an important race in Mexico, Phar Lap collapse and dies; though the film never comes out and says as much, it is assumed that the horse was "murdered" by the gambling interests. The film is based on a book by Michael Wilkinson. The real-life Tommy Woodcock appears in the film as an elderly trainer. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Tom Burlinson
as Tommy Woodcock
Martin Vaughan
as Harry Telford
Judy Morris
as Bea Davis
Ron Leibman
as Dave Davis
Celia Deburgh
as Vi Telford
Vincent Ball
as Lachlan McKinnon
Gia Carides
as Emma
Peter Whitford
as Bert Wolfe
Pat Thomson
as Edith
Warwick Moss
as McCready
James Wright
as Reporter at Station
Redmond Phillips
as Sir Samuel Hordern
Roger Newcombe
as James Crofton
Ross O'Donovan
as Strapper
Arthur Sherman
as American Reporter
Les Foxcroft
as Brazier Man
John Cobley
as Sub Editor
Cliff Ellen
as Float Driver
Simon Wells
as Newsboy
Ashley Grenville
as Strapper
Robert Grubb
as William Neilsen
Dave Johnson
as American Racecall
John Russell
as Race Commentator
Tim Robertson
as Policeman at Stables


Simon Wincer
Richard Davis
John Sexton
David Williamson
Russell Boyd
Bruce Rowland
Composer (Music Score)
Tony Paterson
Anna Senior
Production Designer
Sally Campbell
Set Designer
Anna Senior
Costume Designer