Yorke's itchy feet
By GREG WHITE
IF the right offer arrived, champion trainer Gordon Yorke would consider selling his Coffs Harbour stables and start thinking of life away from racing.
In news that should shock the industry, Yorke is adamant there's no single factor encouraging him to take a closer look at his future but at certain periods of life, he believes other options should be considered.
"Some days I feel like I should just go fishing, other days I get the urge to put another 50 horses into work," he said.
"But if somebody walked in this afternoon and said they wanted to buy the stables, sure I'd consider it."
Yorke insists the news that stable star Natural Destiny has suffered another setback isn't behind the sudden urge to re-consider his own future.
The grey stallion was floated to the Randwick Equine Centre on Monday after Yorke noticed what appeared to be an abscess on his near-side fetlock which didn't respond to treatment.
"No, the injury to 'Natural' has nothing to do with it," he said.
"I have my suspicions what caused the problem but it definitely won't affect his long term career.
"Obviously it's a setback and it means he won't be forward enough for the Doncaster at Easter so we'll get him right and set him for the Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane during the winter."
The trainer can confirm long term plans for the horse are under consideration including a stud career.
"Now he's a five-year-old it's the time you have to see what's on offer and start making decisions," Yorke said.
"There's already an offer on the table but I don't expect he'll stand for the current owners, we'll just have to see."
But even if the long term racing prospects of Natural Destiny are reduced, Yorke's reputation means he'd have no trouble filling his boxes with replacements.
The biggest problem of all would be losing arguably the greatest ambassador the local industry has had in years, with Yorke using his high profile to continually talk up the merits of the Northern Rivers Racing Association and its participants.
"I appreciate the thoughts but it's not as if I've got the best horse in town and I'm the best trainer," he said.
"Joe (Janiak) has Takeover Target and he's the best horse ... and Kenny Lantry is the best trainer in town, I don't care who hears me say it.
"It's just that sometimes you have to stop and consider things a bit more closely."