JOHN Ross,one of North Queensland’s best known racing identities, passed away on Christmas day after a long and painful battle with cancer.

TERRY BUTTS of the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER reports that John, or JP as he was popularly known, trained many good gallopers from his Wulguru stables, including Sailmaker in the 1960s.

While he will be remembered for his horse training achievements, JPs involvement in racing stretches over more than 50 years - almost every day from his Townsville base.

He at one stage took out a bookmaker’s license but found punting to be a bit easier and soon gave up the satchel for his battered old race bag loaded with bridles and racing colors that he carted to all the meetings.

He was debonair in his youth,  and stories abound about his many fun loving adventures as a wharfie and Queensland Rail office clerk. In spite of a long list of acquaintances JP never married though in recent years he “discovered” and became very close to a daughter he has never known existed.

She was with him when he passed away at Townsville General Hospital on Wednesday.

The funeral will be held on Tuesday next week.


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