Tommy Woodcock spent a long lifetime with horses, but is best remembered, and loved, as the young man who strapped and looked after Australia’s legendary racehorse, Phar Lap. The 1930 Melbourne Cup winner and the people’s champion of the Great Depression died mysteriously – cradled by Woodcock – in the US after winning against the odds in Agua Caliente, Mexico, at his only start overseas. The horseman called Phar Lap “Bobby”, and knew him best. And Woodcock is fondly known, too, as the old man, who almost 50 years on, trained the gallant Reckless, second in the 1977 Melbourne Cup and winner of the other major “two-mile” races on the Australian turf calendar a the time, the Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane Cups. Reckless is the same horse Woodcock let children ride at the track on race day, and was pictured with bunked down in the straw, on the front page of The Age newspaper.
Woodcock’s life story and his great and heart-breaking moments with Phar Lap and Reckless are told in his own down-to- earth words by a master storyteller, Jan Wositzky, in this updated and revised edition, with a new introduction.