TRAINER Gordon Yorke got the shock of his life when Duke Of Yorktown was awarded the photo finish decision at yesterday's Coffs Harbour TAB meeting.
Three strides from the post it appeared the Brett Bellamy-trained Dance With Dragons would have just enough gas in the tank to last but that horse shortened stride dramatically and was nabbed right on the post.
The eventual winner led up early but was collared turning for home, only to fight back to the front at the moment of truth.
"I thought I was a goner," Yorke said.
"When they went past me it looked as though Brett's horse would still get there as they don't often come back after being headed on this track."
Bellamy probably knew his fate already as the judge pondered the margin as he headed straight to the runners-up stall to await his charge.
Ridden by visiting Brisbane jockey Matthew Palmer, the three-year-old winner was having his first start since September 2012 and stripped fit for the 1300m journey on a surface rated slow.
"The horse likes that sort of going and when they put up the rating I thought we could be a chance and he'd run really well," Yorke revealed.
"Also Matty the jockey rode him beautifully and I couldn't ask for more."
Queensland jockeys had no complaints about the distance to travel for work when Chris Whitely arrived in the following race aboard Grafton gelding Primed To Win.
Starting a well-backed favourite, the gelding finished with a withering burst in the closing stages to just arrive in time after Our Boy Danny looked an all-over winner. Jockeys Raymond Spokes and Glenn Lynch each rode winning doubles at the meeting. Local trainers Bellamy and Trent Greentree also picked up a share of the winning spoils.