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Kelly Thompson had a lengthy career

12 September 2017, 4:14 p.m.

Successful Southland trainer Kelly Thompson died on Monday, aged 79.

Thompson’s training career extended for more than 40 years and he retained a licence up till the start of the new season.

He never prepared a big team but won his share of feature races, particularly at Riccarton. His Riccarton wins included the New Zealand Cup (Old Thymer), Grand National Steeplechase (Black Rhythm), Grand National Hurdles (Jack Dugan), Stewards Stakes (Ima Royal) and George Adams Handicap (Caparo).

Thompson enjoyed the challenge of training jumpers and won the Great Western Steeplechase at Riverton six times, most recently with Cecil in 2016.

He recorded his biggest win when Old Thymer was successful in the 1996 New Zealand Cup but Judge Obadiah and Caparo were probably his most talented gallopers.

Judge Obadiah ran third, behind Vice Regal, in the 1976 Two Thousand Guineas and was also placed in a Canterbury Gold Cup. He won five races as a three-year-old and eight races the following season.