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What would Phar Lap think of Margaret Court and her neigh-sayers?

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"Mummy! Mummy! That funny old man is talking to a dead horse!" an urchin dobbed me in to his mother during my visit last weekend to the Melbourne Museum.

Margaret Court will be honoured at next month's Australian Open for her stellar achievements as a player. Picture: Getty Images

The anxious parent hurried her child away to a safer, eccentric-free part of the museum. Meanwhile I, the 'funny old man' of the excited child's report, continued, reverently to address a few words to the stuffed and embalmed (but still glossily magnificent and somehow eerily alive-looking and present) Phar Lap, the museum's greatest treasure.

What was I saying to Phar Lap, and why did Margaret Court's controversial name and the imbroglio surrounding her crop up in my few remarks to Australia's greatest ever racehorse?

All will be explained in a moment but first, just to recap, as much-reported in the news and as much-discussed among the commentariat Tennis Australia has after all invited Margaret Court to attend the 2020 Australian Open so as to be honoured for her stellar achievements as a player.

But, alert to how her zealously Christian homophobic ideas have appalled so many (there are continuing calls for her vile name to be dropped from the Melbourne Park tennis arena that bears her name) Tennis Australia has spelled out that its invitation to her does not........

© Canberra Times