Trainer Gordon Yorke with Pimpala Dane.
Trainer Gordon Yorke with Pimpala Dane.

Pimpala pay-off

By GREG WHITE

IT'S more than a decade since the 'Smytzer' and 'Pimpala' prefix began appearing with huge success in the names of Australian racehorses.

But sometimes a couple slipped through the net.

We can only ask what might have been had Tony Santic called the Desert King mare he bought in England, Smytzer Diva?

Would the nation have loved her as much as the triple Melbourne Cup winner she became, Makybe Diva?

"Can't say how I'd feel as I haven't started one in the Cup," said Coffs Harbour trainer Gordon Yorke, the man behind the Pimpala horses.

"But I reckon it could happen one day as there have been some good ones among them."

When Pimpala Dane won its maiden at Coffs Harbour races last week it brought to more than two dozen the horses who'd carried the Pimpala title first past the winning post.

Two have been stand out's.

Pimpala Son won a Cameron Handicap while Pimpala Prince won a Challenge Stakes, Frederick Clissold Handicap and was beaten a lip at weight-for-age in Brisbane.

"Dick Cruwys and his family are involved in all the Pimpala's and the horses are named after their property near Nelson Bay," Yorke said.

"With so many horses going through the system it's a perfect way to keep track by tagging them with one name."

The property is Pimpala Park named from an Aboriginal word meaning 'pine tree.'

But like Tony Santic's mighty mare not being a Smytzer, Yorke has another Cruwys horse specially named.

"Natural Destiny is obviously different," Yorke said of the star of his stable.

Maybe, Natural Pimpala didn't have the same ring to it.

Rather then confuse, the names are familiar to anyone who follows the horse sports, as is Shane Treweek, the jockey who's been part of the story from the beginning.

"Shane is like a brother," Yorke said.

"We go back a long way and have shared the highs and lows of racing.

"He's ridden in New Zealand, Macau, Singapore and Mauritius so he's enormously polished and experienced."

Enormously talented but always troubled by weight, Treweek is making another comeback to riding and will have first choice of the Pimpala horses where possible.

Having famously won the Victoria Derby with Fire Oak, Yorke still regrets the Derby that escaped him and Treweek.

"We ran fourth with Karlperra in the Queensland Derby behind Dodge," the trainer groaned.

"Three strides from the line we had the race won but they swamped him."

Starting at 400/1 because he was still a Class 2 horse, the trainer and jockey almost caused one of the biggest upsets in Group One racing history.

"Shane was fined $2000 for causing interference," Yorke remembered.

"They reckon he tried too hard to win."

With Pimpala Dane the latest graduate from the stable production line, Yorke will bide his time before planning her next career move.

"We'll give the horse more time to develop then find the right race to bring him along," he said.

"And there'll be more Pimpala's as soon as we can find names for them."

Somebody hand that man a dictionary.



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