Tuesday, 11 October 2005
: A valuable collection of original Phar Lap memorabilia will be auctioned in Sydney on October 22.
Cromwells Auction Group is marking the 75th anniversary of Phar Lap’s 1930 Melbourne Cup win with the offering of saddles, items of gear, racing plates and rare racing silks used on the legendary champion by jockeys Jim Pike and Billy Elliot.
The auctions will feature Jim Pike’s Phar Lap saddles, bridles, skullcap and whip, Phar Lap's racing blouse worn by Pike and Billy Elliot and a racing plate worn by Phar Lap.
Cromwells estimate several of the items will sell for more than $50,000 each.
The auction highlights include:-
* Phar Lap's racing saddle used by Jim Pike - a racing saddle, with full strapping and nickle-plated stirrups, as used by Pike on Phar Lap over the seasons 1929-1931, including the 1930 Melbourne Cup. In good condition, and not used from 1931, this was used by Pike in more than half of his 27 winning rides on Phar Lap. Estimate $40,000-$60,000.
* A racing saddle used by Jim Pike on Phar Lap - A light racing saddle owned by Pike, and first used by him to win on Phar Lap in 1929. In distressed condition, and little use from mid-1930. Overhauled by saddler Neil Begg. Estimate $20,000-$25,000.
* Jim Pike's riding boots - A pair of two-tone leather riding boots, as used by Pike throughout his Phar Lap career, winning 27 times. In good condition. Estimate $3000-$5000.
* Jim Pike's racing bridle for Phar Lap - A racing bridle as used by jockey Jim Pike on Phar Lap in the 1930 Melbourne Cup and more than half of his 27 wins. The actual strapped reins are race-worn, as it was Pike's custom to ride high and tight to Phar Lap's mane. Estimate: $4000-$6000.
* Jim Pike's skull cap - The great jockey's skull cap, as used throughout career. Estimate $2000-$3000
* Phar Lap racing plate with written provenance - A front foot metal racing plate with a silver curved metal slip added and engraved 'PHAR LAP 1928-1932" with an envelope postmarked Mexico City 1944, from Lady Wilford to Mr G Tracy of Wellington, New Zealand where she states that "the shoe is most certainly one of Phar Laps, given to my husband by the blacksmith who shod him before he left for America." Extremely rare as only four racing plates known, this is the only one with written provenance. Estimate: $25,000-$30,000.
* Phar Lap Silks Worn by Jim Pike & Bill Elliot - A racing blouse, in Telford's colours of deep red with black and white armbands, as worn by Jim Pike and Bill Elliot in races in 1929 and 1930. Some fraying, evidence of mud and some discolouration to the whitebanding but no tears to the body of the blouse. Following investigations this is believed to be the only silks worn by all jockeys on Phar Lap, prior to the creation of the slimline blouse worn from May 1930. Worn by Pike when winning on Phar Plap in the 1929 AJC Derby, 1929 Victoria Derby and 1930 VRC St. Leger Stakes and by Elliot winning the 1930 Governor's Plate, 1930 King's Plate, 1930 Cumberland Stakes, 1930 AJC Plate and 1930 Elder Stakes and also race-worn for Phar Lap's third placings in the 1929 Melbourne and Caulfield Cups. Provenance: Mrs Bill Elliot. Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000.
* Jim Pike's whip used on Phar Lap -70 cm long, with dulled brown plastic "cap" with leather stringed handle, it has a barely used leather strap, as Pike preferred to "tap" the great horse. Estimate: $2000-$3000
Other skull caps, racing bridles and racing bits associated with Pike and Phar Lap will also be offered during the auction Cromwell’s Sydney rooms in Pyrmont at 12 noon on October 22.