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By Graham Potter | Monday, June 10, 2024

Racing always has a story.

Most of the stories that gain media coverage come from the top end of the racing food chain ... the exploits of top trainers and gun jockeys ... expensive horses ... spectacular wins in glittering circumstances accentuated by all of the hype and glory that goes with it.

That is obviously understandable to a point, but racing always has a story beyond that ... where quiet achievers work some magic on ordinary, seemingly bland race-days which don’t even raise a faint flicker on the radar of most media organisations.

There are many of these that deserve at least a nod of acknowledgement.

Take the case of trainer Nicole Luke and her runner Yishay at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

A five-year-old with only four starts behind his name, Yishay had last raced on May 13, 2022 ... twenty-five months before stepping out for his debut for his new stable, yet Luke was able to turn out the son of Capitalist in winning form with Yishay claiming his first career win with some authority ... the 2.50 length winning margin telling the story.

“It’s coming up to about a year since I’ve had the horse,” said Like. “He is a bit of an emotional, hard going horse ... scared of the world.

“Paul (Kingsford) who strapped him today has done most of his riding. He has worked pretty hard on him the whole way through, working towards getting him settled and confident enough to go out there, so we have just had to be patient. His ability has never been in question.

“I give a lot of credit to Paul. I ride all of my own horses, but Yishay is a bit tricky for me, and Paul’s been great with him.

“Jockey Michael Cahill is another who has helped me a lot with Yishay in his gallops. He would have been on Yishay, but he was riding in Brisbane on the day and was hoping to come back to the Gold Coast, but the race times didn’t work out.

“Boris (Thornton) proved to be a great backup. He didn’t know the horse at all ... I’ve never used him before ... but it all came together well.

“My expectations with Yishay going into the race first-up?

“Well, it wasn’t an overly strong field and I thought if his manners and behaviour matched his good ability, it wasn’t going to be an issue.”

And it wasn’t.

It still all translates into a no small training feat by Luke ... with credit also going to Thornton, Cahill and Kingsford whose combined talents and effort helped to create a very satisfying win.

No fanfare here. Just a job well done!

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Boris Thornton brings Yishay back to scale  after he had landed his first career win at the Gold Coast
Boris Thornton brings Yishay back to scale after he had landed his first career win at the Gold Coast
Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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