First steps to Flemington . . . Natural Destiny (Shane Treweek) clears out in a recent Coffs Harbour barrier trial win.
First steps to Flemington . . . Natural Destiny (Shane Treweek) clears out in a recent Coffs Harbour barrier trial win.

Yorke?s planning hit-and-run raid

By GREG WHITE

AS you read your Coffs Coast Advocate over breakfast this morning, somewhere in the skies above us a lean, grey horse from Coffs Harbour will be leaving on a jet plane bound for Melbourne.

The hit-and-run mission is for one race at Flemington on VRC Derby day when Natural Destiny will chase Group One glory in the 1200m Seppelt Salinger Stakes, the same race that put Takeover Target on the road to superstardom in 2004.

Trainer Gordon Yorke and trackwork rider Yasushi Fujimoto will follow on a commercial flight later today and already the omens are looking auspicious.

"By sheer fluke I've ended up with the same stable box we had when Fire Oak won the Derby in 1990," the trainer said.

"Let's hope it's two trips to Flemington for two Group One's to keep a perfect record."

Sixteen years after slipping under the guard of the Victorians to claim their blue riband

event, Yorke is confident of springing another surprise.

"When I filled out the nomination I had to put down I was a 'country' trainer," Yorke laughed.

"I told them I'd be racing against their blueblood Ferraris with my Commodore horse and you should have seen the look on their faces.

"But they're going to see one heck of a racer in action when I leg Glen Boss onto his back next Saturday week."

And the canny Yorke is shrugging off suggestions in the metropolitan racing media Natural Destiny is underprepared for such a stern test.

He said the northern raiding party has done it's homework for the main assignment down the famous 'straight six' by working anti-clockwise.

"Yasi (Fujimoto) has been riding him on the track at Coffs going the reverse way into the shute to give him experience on a straight course," Yorke said.

"It creates an optical illusion for the horse so he won't be dismayed when he steps out and finds he's heading to a different place than he's used to.

"He's thinking different and leading off the opposite leg so there'll be no problems."



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