A date with destiny
COFFS Harbour trainer Gordon Yorke won't be taking notice of the competition when stable star Natural Destiny faces his biggest test in today's $130,000 G2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
"He's a bit like a footballer who's earned his shot at first grade," Yorke said. "All his good form is from recent starts, so it's hard to draw a line on his chances against the others.
"Most of their form is from two-year-old racing."
Yorke is no novice at getting a horse ready to take on Group company but is quick to pay credit to his 'pit crew.'
"Horses from Coffs have the best strike rate in New South Wales and it's all because of the people who prepare the track and run the place," he said.
"After all the rain through the week, the curator and his team had us working on the grass within a day. If he wins at Randwick it'll be because those blokes are genius level."
Keeping to routine, Natural Destiny was floated from Coffs to Sydney yesterday, picking up Taree jockey Scott Thurlow, en route. "We stick with Scotty because he knows the horse," Yorke explained.
"Glen Boss was also in line but Bossy decided to head to Melbourne, so the choice was easy."
Should Natural Destiny win today his sale price will skyrocket and it's no secret Asian buyers have been casting more than a casual eye in his direction. If the horse is ultimately sold, Yorke believes he's still got one as good at home.
"Pimpala Dancer's win at the Gold Coast last Saturday was unbelievable," he said.
"She was lost on the heavy Coffs track at her first start but she knows what it's all about."
"I don't want to talk her up too much but I can't see why she won't go as far as the colt."