While the property represents only a small portion of the former stud farm, Neville’s family say they have found relics in the dirt near where the tree meets their property line, connecting the site to the former livestock farm. The streets around Homestead Drive are named after some of the horses and people involved with the stud.
The dam of Hall Of Fame racehorse Carbine, The Mersey, is buried under another tree in the area, along with two St Albans Stud broodmares. Neville believes other horses may also be buried at the site, including a horse named Freeman, believed to have been propped up next to Phar Lap in 1930.
“When we purchased 30 years ago, the previous owners indicated that important racehorses were buried under this tree,” Neville said.
“We know St Albans Park Farm has up to nine Melbourne Cup winners. It would be positive to assume there would be other Melbourne Cup winners under that tree, but that would be difficult [to confirm] because you don’t get a death certificate when you bury a horse.
McIntyre, who is also a real estate advocate, said at least nine objections were submitted to council to suspend the planning application.
“We want to get a meeting with the council before the planner makes a decision on this, if we cut down a historic tree that has remains of horses [buried under it]”McIntyre said.
St Albans Stud was also where trainer Harry Telford sent Phar Lap to shelter the horse after the 1930 Melbourne Cup favorite survived a shootout on the morning of Derby Day.
Phar Lap shook off the fear of death on Saturday morning to win the Mackinnon Stakes, then in the early hours of Sunday morning was sent to Geelong after Telford asked stud owner Guy Raymond for permission to hide the horse.
According to a book called The Melbourne Cupwritten by Maurice Cavanough, rumors swirled in the racing world about Phar Lap’s whereabouts.
The champion was then almost late to Flemington on the morning of the Cup after the truck towing his float took an hour and a half to start, but the race was delayed by 15 minutes, allowing Phar Lap to arrive before the start and achieve the greatest victory. of his career, engulfing bookmakers in hatred and bringing joy to punters in the depths of the Great Depression.
St Albans Stud were also the breeder of the champion mare Wakeful, who was the sire of the stud’s star stallion, Trenton.
Raymond’s great-granddaughter, Catriona Murphy, said many famous racehorses, stallions and broodmares are believed to have been buried at the former stud farm.
While the proposed development is simply to split the 3,488m² site in two, the site is also intended for “potential future residential development”, according to the planning report submitted with the application.
The title deed however has two covenants in place which would need to be lifted by the council for the development to be approved. The former prohibits multiple dwelling development and further subdivision of the lot unless approved by council, while the latter prohibits more than one dwelling on each title.
But Maddocks Lawyers’ legal analysis, submitted by the land owner as part of the planning application, said the covenants were not absolutely prohibitive and that development and subdivision can proceed with approval. advice.
O’Loan said any mention of future residential development was simply about his client’s intention to build a single-storey family home on the land where the tree stands. O’Loan added that there was no need to suspend the application because his client plans to protect the tree.
Wilson-Browne reportedly withdrew a subdivision application for the site in 2019 after community backlash, before its updated submission went live on April 5. The announced planning permission will be closed for public consultation on April 23.