Smart colt assumes local hero status
By GREG WHITE
STRANGE things happen on country racecourses.
Like what occurred when Gordon Yorke's star racer Natural Destiny spreadeagled the field at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
With punters clustered around television screens at the local Coffs Harbour meeting to watch the race, applause broke out as jockey Shane Treweek released the brakes and the brown colt streaked away.
Such sentiment is rarely seen in the bush.
"Did they really do that?" the trainer asked in amazement after returning from the city.
"I like that and if the horse could talk he'd say the same.
"Good to know he's becoming local property as he's a nice bloke with a kind nature."
Yorke has known he had a quality student for tuition since Natural Destiny first entered the stable.
"We gave him a good education and placed him in the right races to see if he had ability," he said.
"You don't want one that's a cry baby when the presssure comes but he's proved he has what it takes.
"He's a real country boy who can sleep in any bed, put his feet under any table then give his best in a race."
Natural Destiny left Coffs on Friday morning, took a seven hour float trip to Rosehill, camped overnight "in a strange bed," won his race, then headed home with mission accomplished.
"He was back in town just before midnight," Yorke said.
"Had a drink and a feed, then went to bed.
"Bloody amazing how relaxed and casual he is."
But it's no secret offers in excess of a million dollars are floating about to buy the horse with future racing likely to be on the lucrative Asian circuit.
"I'm waiting by the phone now for details on one big bite," Yorke revealed, "but if it doesn't come we'll press ahead with plans the current owners and myself have made.
"No way will we push him just for the sake of making a sale and getting the money.
"That's not how you treat a horse that's special."
If Natural Destiny isn't sold, Yorke can see an unlimited future in Australia.
"Races like the ones Takeover Target took out are not beyond him.
"He's a big threat for the Salinger Stakes and Newmarket Handicap as he matures.
"In the early stages we kept quiet about his ability so the owners could enjoy it without all the fuss but now the secret's out, we go with the flow."