Funeral for popular Coffs trainer
A FUNERAL will be held at the Coffs Harbour Racing Club on Friday at 2pm for popular and much respected local trainer Kel 'Snow' Connell whose death last week has shocked and saddened the local racing community.
The man known affectionately to many as 'Poppy Snow' grew up in the Stockton area of Newcastle and as an apprentice jockey won a Newcastle Cup as his greatest achievement in the saddle.
Kel moved to Coffs Harbour as a trainer twenty five years ago where in later years his favourite horses were the ill-fated Manipulate and Watch The Clock , while at the time of his passing All In Order and Striking Time were flying the Connell stable's flag.
Leading jockeys like Glen Colless , Tim Thornhill , Zac Purton and Jasen Watkins regarded Snow as a father figure , even sometimes referring to him as 'Dad' and his presence around the stables and at the track will be desperately missed by the racing community.
If there is a racing heaven, Kel Connell will already be there , probably matching yarns with old sparring partner Mal Gerrard about the things they used to get up to , and what stories they'd be !
The thoughts of the Coffs Coast racing family are with Val and Snow's family and friends at this sad time.
Apprentice jockey Karen Gillis has a good book of rides for the Community Cups meeting at Bowraville today and could pay to follow if you're making the trip to the scenic track an easy hour's drive south of Coffs.
Gillis' rides include Coffs trainer Barry Osmond's mare In Phnom Penh which has run three placings in succession and will be out to break through in a 1000m maiden and Ken Lantry's newcomer Seems Sweet, a three year old Mr Henrysee filly in another division of the maiden.
In the 2200m class 5 Macksville Cup , Gillis rides Armidale topweight Fighting Pedrille which should get her day at Bowraville off to a good start.