The horse trainer David Vandyke believes may be the best stayer he has trained has given him success in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Sunshine Coast-based trainer has had a number of high-class gallopers through his hands but believes Gypsy Goddess will eventually prove the best stayer to go through his yard.
Vandyke prepared Yankee Rose Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick before running third in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley in 2016 while Queensland Oaks winners have enjoyed great careers with Surround (1977), Round The World (1987), Triscay (1991), Arctic Scent (1996), Ethereal (2001) and Winx (2015) just a few to have gone on to greater heights.
Ridden by Willie Pike, Gypsy Goddess scored by a length from Victorian raider from Barb Raider with Le Villi a further half-length away third.
“That was just amazing,” Vandyke said.
“The love and care that has gone into her over the last seven-and-a-half months, since she won her maiden, to keep her up, it’s just been an amazing period of time .
“We were just focussed on getting this girl to the best possible place, and to finish that with a Group 1 is a career highlight.”
Vandyke said after Gypsy Goddess had finished second in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) in April before returning to Queensland to finish second at the Gold Coast over 1800m last month that if it had been any other horse, he would have turned them out for a spell.
“She bounced back well this last week,” Vandyke said.
“This is my career highlight with this girl to see her wrap up a field of quality fillies like that, at Group 1 level in our home state, that’ll do me.”
Pike said bad barriers are not such a big deal after the filly jumped from the second widest barrier in the 18-horse field.
“I guess barriers aren’t too big of an issue when you have a horse with gears like her,” Pike said
“She had a bit on this field today and I rode her accordingly, but I still got there a bit early.
“That was ‘Plan B’ for sure.”