The preserved heart of champion racehorse Phar Lap weighs 6.35 kilograms, which is more than 1.5 times the weight of an average thoroughbred racehorse heart (about 3–4 kilograms). The heart was returned to Australia for testing after Phar Lap’s sudden death in the United States in 1932.

It was found to be of an unusually large size, and was donated to the Australian Institute of Anatomy, where it was on show for many years. The saying, ‘a heart as big as Phar Lap’s’ alludes to the horse’s strength and staying power, and indicates great courage, generosity or power.


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