Peter Pan was an Australian thoroughbred that raced in the 1930’s along with legends such as Phar Lap and Rogilla. Some say that he was actually a better horse than Par Lap, but didn’t receive the recognition of his compatriot. Peter Pan was known for his unusual colouring and superb racing abilities, which captured the attention of the Australian public during the Great Depression. He was a sports betting icon and became a favourite of punters Down Under whenever he ran.
Peter Pan ran during a time when the Wall Street Crash in America had a ripple effect on the rest of the world. In Australia, times were very tough, with very little money to go around, and extreme hardships being experienced by the general populace. At a time when everyone needed a hero, a flaxen haired chestnut thoroughbred entered the racing scene and took it by storm.
Peter Pan was an usual looking horse. Thoroughbreds are usually one of three colours; bay, chestnut or grey. Peter Pan was a chestnut stallion with a flaxen or blonde mane and tale. He was born at Sydney’s Baroona Stud and sired by a British horse named Pantheon, who was a very good racehorse in his own right. He began racing in 1931 at the age of two. By the age of three he had run eleven starts, and won nine of them, one of which was the famous 1932 Melbourne Cup. By end of his three year old season, Peter Pan was being hailed as the next Phar Lap, and a punters hero in a time when making money was a very hard thing to do. Many men went to races, only to return home with a bunch of flowers for his wife and a much fatter wallet thanks to the flaxen haired horse.
1932 Melbourne Cup
When Peter Pan was three years old, he was entered into the Melbourne Cup. Phar Lap had won the cup in the past, but had sadly passed on in America. Out of the starting gates, Peter Pan sat in the middle of the group. Suddenly, he clipped the heels of the horse in front of him, causing him to stumble and go down. The crowd gave an audible gasp, as their champion seemed to be out of the race. Incredibly, Peter Pan’s stable made bumped him from behind, helping him back to his feet. Recovering, he surged forward, passing every horse in the field. To a deafening roar, he took the race by a neck. When he was led to the winner’s circle, a grass stain was still clearly visible on his face.
1933 Virus and 1934 Melbourne Cup
In 1933 a virus broke out among the racehorses of Australia. Many of them fell ill, and a large number of thoroughbreds died. The punter’s hero also caught the virus, and news spread that he was ill, and may never run again. He ended up not racing for the entire 1933 season but returned in 1934 to win the Melbourne cup for the second time which caused celebration for online betting NZ punters. His odds for the race were 14 to one, as he was carrying a huge weight and had drawn the outside barrier. Again the flaxen haired hero stormed home to the delight of punters, making them some much needed money. He was the first horse in Australia’s history to win the race twice, and punters made big bucks betting on him once again.