Lead: Despite a heroic past, Australia is a nation with few real national heroes. Few would deny, however, that one of them was a big, red horse named Phar Lap.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his youth, Phar Lap, whose name in Thai is the word for “lightning,” did not seem a likely prospect for heroic status. The gelding was born in Timaru, New Zealand in 1926, bought for about $336 and arrived in Australia, painfully thin, with warts all over his face, and lacking very much elemental grace. His trainer, Harry Telford, however, believed he had the makings of champion. Phar Lap was of large sturdy construction and later was found to have an enormous heart of near freakish size. He could sprint and also hang in there for the distance. Around the stable the horse was known as Bobby, and there he met his soon-to-be inseparable companion, stableboy Tommy Woodcock.