NRRA a provincial contender
THIS week marks 20 years since Gordon Yorke won the Victoria Derby with maiden three-year-old Fire Oak but the master trainer wouldn’t consider swapping his Coffs Harbour paradise for the majestic stretches of Flemington.
“Sometimes I go down to the Marina and look at the ocean to think about how good we have it here,” he said.
As a member of the country trainer’s advisory panel, Yorke was one who agitated against the despised ratings system and now believes the next step is for Northern Rivers Racing Association to be elevated to Provincial Club status.
“If we get a central all-weather track – at Ballina for instance – it would be hard to hold us back,” he said.
“And if Coffs were to get night racing facilities, we could easily handle another 20 meetings or more every year as we already have an established pool of horses.
“But that’s only part of the story as racing is just one small, intricate part of the whole Coffs Harbour picture.
“And with racing booming, it shows how big Coffs really is and we should always be talking it up.”