A Tribute to Kelso Wood

Tuesday, 4 September 2018
By Bart Sinclair

Kelso Wood, one of Queensland’s most successful racehorse trainers, passed away on Monday evening. He was 74.

Wood began his racing involvement at age 14 when he entered the stables of Athol Strong in his Lilley St Hendra stables. Although he had no previous connection to horses he was encouraged to try to gain an apprenticeship because of his small stature. At the end of his time as an apprentice Wood transferred to Sydney where he rode briefly before weight forced his retirement from race riding.

He served as stable foreman for Harry Plant, of Bernborough fame, at a time at when the legendary trainer was nearing the end of his great career. When Plant passed away Kelso started training in his own right and broke-in horses for a sideline income. He had considerable success with the sprinter High Classic who won several metropolitan races in Sydney and the Graton Ramornie in successive years 1980-81.

Wood returned to Brisbane to set up a stable at Hendra in the early 1980s. Over the past 30 years he trained many notable horses including Unequalled (Doomben 10,000), Sizzling (J J Atkins) and Real Surreal (Magic Millions Classic).

Prominent businessmen Mick Power, David Devine, Neville Morgan and Noel Fuller were not only great backers of the Wood stable they forged great friendships with him.

Wood who is survived by his wife Ann-Mary was a member of the Brisbane Racing Club for 26 years.

Photo courtesy of the Courier Mail