02 Sep Big Philou: Champion Racehorse
One of jockey Roy Higgins and trainer Bart Cummings favorite racehorse was Big Philou. The New Zealand Thoroughbred racehorse was foaled in 1965. His sire Le Filou was imported from France while his dam, Pink Lady was by share more content Contact. As much as the formidable horse will be remembered for his domination of the tracks, the 1969 Melbourne Cup doping scandal and Big Philou’s unfortunate withdrawal will always be discussed in the racing fraternity for years to come.
Big Philou’s major victories were in the 1969 VATC Caulfield Cup. In 1970, the VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes and VATC Underwood Stakes were among his feature triumphs for trainer Bart Cummings. The Caulfield Cup was one of the most sensational that year. Although Big Philou had won the Caulfield Stakes earlier during the week, Nausori, a New Zealand horse had plenty of backing. Nausori acknowledged the crowds keeping up with the bunch. In the straight, Nausori hit the front but Big Philou found a gap nearer the rails. Nausori moved toward the rails but checked Big Philou around the 200 m mark. However, Big Philou regained balance in the last roblox cheats hack tool 100 meters but failed to catch up with Nausori who won by a neck. Jockey Roy Higgins filed a protest against the rider of Nausori. The stewards ruled in favor of Big Philou, setting the state for the 1969 Melbourne Cup.
The 1969 Melbourne Cup could have been Big Philou’s had it not been for the sensation caused at the expense of the strapping gelding, who had to be withdrawn half an hour before coming under the starter’s orders. Bart Cummings and his horses were a major target for corruption. Cummings and Roy were both confident of Big Philou’s abilities to win the Melbourne Cup. No one would know the chances of a horse better than trainer and jockey. Little did they know that an illicit concoction of laxatives would blow their chances away. Later Cummings expressed his feelings in his book, Bart – My Life. Even Roy Higgins knew that Big Philou was at his peak, with the ability to crush the toughest of competition.
Around thirty minutes before the race, what Cummings and Higgins found was a horse in distress. Big Philou’s strapper, Ron Dawson was the first to notice the horse hanging his head. However, he was moved to Flemington but his condition worsened as the day progressed. Cumming’s brother, Patrick, informed him of Big Philou’s diarrhea and high temperature that caused tremendous pain. The horse had been overdosed with laxatives which turned out to roblox cheats hack tool be Danthron, determined from a urine sample.
Everyone in the racing fraternity knew that this was something sinister. However, it took decades to reveal the truth when a former strapper, Les Lewis, from Bart Cummings’ stable admitted his guilt. The civil courts acquitted Lewis but he was found guilty of another doping attempt on King Pedro, another Cummings-trained horse, which ran in the Duke of Norfolk at Flemington. Lewis signed a statutory declaration when he was dying of cancer, where he admitted to doping two horses, Tails and Big Philou in the wee hours of the Cup morning in exchange for $10,000. Apparently, he told news reporters that he wanted to clear his conscience.
Cummings was made aware of the perpetrator; however, he chose to remain silent for defamation reasons. The Cup was finally won by Rain Lover, winning two cups back-to-back. A match race was held between Big Philou and Rain Lover in which the former proved his domination of the tracks. However, Big Philou was never raced again, ending his chances to rewrite the record books in Australian racing history.