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Title Image: The Horse
David J. Davis — Owner

 David J. Davis
David J. Davis

The American–born businessman David Davis had made his money in Sydney through photography and importing domestic items such as dinnerware. Horse racing was a hobby. In truth, Davis scarcely knew one end of a horse from the other, but he knew a lot about money.

The arithmetic on Phar Lap was simple: he had already 'blown' 160 guineas and the last thing he wanted to do was spend more on training and other fees. He and Telford agreed on a leasing deal to last three years.

Whereas the Australian public ran 'hot and cold' with their feelings for Telford, their regard for Davis edged closer to plain dislike. The fact that it was he, rather than Telford, who was determined to take the champion to the United States earned him no friends among the public.

However, it should be remembered that it was Davis, on site in the USA, who arranged for Phar Lap to be taxidermied and returned to Australia. It is primarily Davis to whom generations of Australians owe a debt of gratitude for the privilege of seeing Phar Lap again.


© Museum Victoria Australia