By Glenn Davis
Trainer Kelso Wood hopes of claiming his first Listed Goldmarket Handicap at the Gold Coast on Saturday is in the lap of the Gods.
Wood, 73, has been one of Queensland’s most successful trainers over many years but despite having several top sprinters, he’s yet to win the Goldmarket Handicap.
Wood won his first Group 1 with his former star galloper Unequalled in the 1993 Doomben 10,000 and won a second at the highest level with Sizzling in the T J Smith at Eagle Farm in 2012.
Snitzkraft hasn’t raced since finishing second to Viddora in the Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast in January.
Wood is not concerned with the lack of recent racing but is watching the weather closely with a tropical cyclone hovering off south-east Queensland.
He’s hoping the weather stays fine which would allow for a further track upgrade from its current soft 7 rating.
“He’ll race well if it’s close to a good track but he’s no good on a heavy track,” Wood said.
“He’s been in work a long time and he won a barrier trial early last month.”
Wood said Snitzkraft suffered a minor setback following the Magic Millions Sprint but is now fully recovered.
“He had a few issues with his back after the Magic Millions but he’s ready to go now,” Wood said.
“He’s a very good horse and hopefully he’ll be my first Goldmarket winner.
“I’ve only had a few runners over the years in the race and he’s as good a chance as any if the track improves.”
Snitzkraft is raced by a syndicate headed by long-time Wood client Mick Power and includes AFL legend Leigh Matthews, who also raced Wood’s former star juvenile, Sizzling.
Power retained Snitzkraft after he was passed in when he didn't reach his $300,000 reserve as a yearling at the Magic Millions sales.
Wood has been battling ill health in recent years but still gets to trackwork each morning with his assistant trainer, Patricia Gesler.
“I’ve only got 10 in work these days but I suppose that’s better than last year when I almost died twice,” Wood said.
Racing Queensland webnews March 15