Yorke galloper crying out for distance
A LOCAL horse that doesn't take kindly to travel and is bred to be a stayer sounds like the perfect formula for a win at Coffs Harbour today.
Pimpala Dane has been begging for the long distance that today's Crest Goldfish Bowl Class 3 Handicap over 2320 metres offers.
Forced to run shorter races until today, trainer Gordon Yorke can't wait to see how his gelding goes over the extra ground after being forced recently to enter virtual sprint races for him.
"There wasn't a race for him that was suitable and he needed a run," Yorke explained about having to enter Pimpala Dane in a 1300m race two starts ago.
"He needed a hard run over 1300m but unfortunately he got into that much trouble that he ended up having an easy run, Robbo rode him and stood up him down the straight because he got into that much trouble in the race that he couldn't let him down."
Today the stayer will have a Yasushi Fujimoto on board, a jockey that's sure to create some conversation throughout the day.
"He's a Japanese rider that has ridden 563 winners in Japan and he's only just taken out a licence in NSW," the trainer added.
"He's had four rides in Coffs Harbour for me, he got hurt and it's his first ride back today but he's a very experienced Japanese jockey."
The formline for today's staying race is fairly easy to read as four of the six starters all started together in Grafton two weeks ago with top weight Wood Ash the victor on that occasion.
Pimpala Dane wasn't in that race but that doesn't bother Yorke at all.
"I think the Port Macquarie race was a tougher race," he said.
"He's got plenty of ability but I'll tell you a little secret I think about this horse, I don't think he's a good traveller, he gets a bit car sick.
"Here when he won, he kicked two shoes off in the enclosure and he was just off his face but put him in the car and take him somewhere in the truck, he just stands there for an hour afterwards and I think he gets a bit motion sick."
The fact the first and second that the four year-old gelding has picked up have both been at Coffs Harbour gives weight to Yorke's contention.
He also knows that he can't keep entering the Nothin Leica Dane progeny into 1300m races.
"I just think this horse is a dead set stayer," Yorke added.
"If I'm right about the travel I've just got to work around that and probably his best hope is to win the Coffs Cup and just look after him in that respect if we can get him over the track."
Speaking of the Coffs Cup, today's opening race is the only other time all year that a race at Coffs Harbour is run at the same distance as the Coffs Cup and Yorke is one of the first to say that he wishes there were more staying races held in Coffs Harbour.
"I'd like to see it definitely because in conjunction with Grafton running 2000m races, Coffs can run them," he said.
"If we're running them and they're running 2000m races there, you can keep the staying horse in business.
"We had to run him in a 1300m because there wasn't a race to suit him in the area but it's a very difficult one for clubs to say we're going to put on long races because owners don't want to be with long term horses until Melbourne Cup time.
"You go to the sales and you can buy a stayer for nothing as a yearling as people want to get their money out of racing early."