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Title Image: The Horse
The Shooting

 Map of the shooting

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The attempt by gunmen to shoot Phar Lap made front page news in Melbourne. An eyewitness to the sensational incident was a young Robert Philpots.

In an interview in 2001, Mr Philpots recalled the events of around 5.45 am that Saturday morning:


I was born and bred in Glenhuntly, and for my fourteenth birthday, which was in October 1930, I was given a bike from my cousin who had gown out of it. He'd grown older, and [it] was brought up to me on the Friday night...

Naturally I got up early on the Saturday morning to have a ride all 'round the streets, 'cause you could ride 'round streets in those days —cause of [very] few cars...

Anyway, I was riding up James Street, coming near the corner of Etna Street, when I saw Phar Lap and Tommy Woodcock coming down from the racecourse, down from Manchester grove, and at that time there was a big black sedan car turned from James street into Etna street...

The next thing was bang! ... and this bloke in the back seat shot out a shotgun ... it was only the one blast from memory, and of course Tommy Woodcock—all the trainers in those days always rode little ponies and led their horses—and course he, he took the horse... up onto the footpath...

Then I, of course, got the wind up and went for my life and went down to the Ormond footy ground and stayed down there for half an hour or so, till I got hungry for my breakfast and came home.

Excerpt from interview with Robert Philpots, 2001.

Source: Museum Victoria

© Museum Victoria Australia