Stormy start for Stormy Woods.

By Gary Newton

Mount Gambier breeder Phil Wood has had many roles in Harness Racing he has held the Presidency of the Mount Gambier Club and is the former president of the SA Country Clubs he has been an owner and breeder for over 35 years.

He bred honest pacers like Hilldale Sunrise 1.57.5 and the winner of 8 races, The Bellum (4 wins) 1.57.5, recent winner Majorholenmypocket (6 wins to date), and how his new star Ballarat two-year-old winner Stormy Woods.

Stormy Woods is well named the son of first season sire The Storm Inside had a rough start to life he lost his mother Amberlu Hanover when he was just 4 weeks old.

Amberlu Hanover whom Phil Wood had leased from Debbie McDonald had to be euthanised after complications with Laminitis. Stormy Woods then was hand-fed after being weaned from his mother. He was fed from milk in a bucket (see photo).

Let’s go back a few steps Phil Wood won a $500 voucher for any stallion that stands at Alabar courtesy of a seminar conducted by John Coffey at Mount Gambier, that winning ticket also has a twist to this story. Wood was handing out tickets as a door prize at the seminar when an attendee claimed he didn’t like that number and wanted another one.

One man’s misfortune is another man’s treasure!

“I liked The Storm Inside and after I won the voucher it was a no-brainer,” Wood said.

“The Storm Inside was a very good racehorse, and he was a lovely type, and he is stamping his progeny as well,” he added.

When Wood lost Amberlu Hanover he replaced her with her half sister Bee A Star an unraced BG’s Folly mare, Wood has a two-year-old by Restrepo and a yearling by Gotta Go Cullect and she is in foal to The Storm Inside.

At Ballarat when having just his third start in a race Stormy Woods showed good gate speed to lead but, in the home straight the first time the colt shied at the winning post and driver Anthony Butt had to shake him up to keep his mind on the job. The Race caller claimed during his commentary “Stormy Woods is gorking around”.  

Stormy Wood is likely to return to Mount Gambier to compete in heats of the SA Kindergarten Stakes scheduled for March 26.

After three decades of breeding standardbreds Wood believes Stormy Wood, when he matures, might well be his best.

From a stormy start in life, this colt could very well become a more than handy horse for the former Livestock Agent.  


Phil Wood with Stormy Woods as a foal
Stormy Woods with Anthony Butt & Trainer Damien Burns.