Strength in depth the key to Yorke?s hopes for success
By GREG WHITE
WITH so many stable horses accepting for today's Coffs Harbour race meeting, it's fair to ask Gordon Yorke if he's making a serious attempt to win his first Northern Rivers Racing Association trainers premiership.
"Hell no," he laughs down the phone while travelling to the Gold Coast bloodstock sales. "We need somewhere to race so as many as we can saddle up, we'll send them around.
"The race programming has been a bit more difficult than usual so we'll see how we go knocking a bit of fat off them."
Yorke originally nominated 'latest star' Pimpala Dancer for Coffs but decided to save the boom youngster for a race at Newcastle on Thursday.
"I heard somebody put a million dollar tag on the horse after the Wyong win but while she's good, I don't want to get carried away," Yorke said.
"A million isn't as much for a tried horse as it once was and people pay that much at the yearling sales when they don't know if they can run or not.
"She's a long way from her top and I think we'll see the best next preparation."
Yorke will start six strong chances at the meeting including Cup-day winner Whisky Dane in the seventh to be ridden by Yasushi Fujimoto.
His real million dollar youngster will also 'start' at the meeting ? but not in an actual race.
"Natural Destiny is entered for the barrier trial after the last race," he said.
"Depending on how he pulls up there'll be a meeting with the owners and we'll make plans for the Melbourne trip."
The grey potential champion's target is the G1 Salinger Stakes at Flemington on Victoria Derby day, the same race won by Takeover Target in 2004.
"We hope Glen Boss will stay with the horse but he's made no commitment at this stage," the trainer said.
"Bossy will get a lot of offers over the carnival and Michael Rodd is also a possibility for the ride."
It's almost certain the Salinger will be the only start for Natural Destiny at the spring carnival.
"One idea is to take him back down in the autumn for the Newmarket but that's not certain," Yorke said. "Next year the race is at Caulfield and that track has it's tricks.
"Still, there's plenty of time to make a final decision."
Racing club CEO Sherryn Tutt said there may be enough nominations for two barrier trials today.
"Depending on the light the stewards may decide to run a couple or leave it at one but I'm confident they'll give preference to Natural Destiny starting.
"Anybody who can't attend the meeting is invited to call in on their way from work to watch the grey horse run. It's a great opportunity to see one of the country's best horses in action."