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Trainer David Vandyke has confirmed that his star three-year-old filly Gypsy Goddess will now target the Group 1 Queensland Oaks as her main mission during the Queensland Winter racing carnival.

The plan is for the daughter of Tarzino to have one lead-up run in the Group 2 The Roses two weeks prior to her Oaks assignment.

The run in The Roses will come after a six week freshen up following Gypsy Goddess’s last outing in which she finished in a highly creditable second place in the AJC Oaks (behind El Patroness) over 2400m in very heavy going. That result was Gypsy Goddess’s second successive Group 1 placing, having finished third in The Vinery (behind Fangirl) over 1850m in the run prior to that, which was her first taste of Group 1 racing.

Gypsy Goddess, who has only raced on seven occasions, had earned the right to compete at the elite level with a flawless record of five straight wins in her first five starts in which she wasted no time in presenting herself as a well above average racehorse.

Gypsy Goddess was already a Group 3 winner in her first preparation, after taking out the Grand Prix in her fourth start, and, by the time she headed south to take on the big guns in New South Wales, she had already displayed her superior prowess over distances ranging from 1400m to 2100m on both good and soft going.

The positive way in which she handled both a rain interrupted preparation and the heavy tracks that she was faced with during her Southern campaign added another string to her bow while also confirming that the 2400m (which she tackled in the AJC Oaks) was also well within her grasp.

Jockey Willie Pike, who held the reins in Gypsy Goddess’s first two attempts at Group 1 glory, is again expected to be in the saddle when Gypsy Goddess steps out for her two Winter carnival runs.

With the lightly raced filly almost certain to find more improvement as she builds more race experience, the chances of her making it third time lucky in the terms of a Group 1 win in the Queensland Oaks looks very promising indeed … and there can be no doubt that Queensland racing enthusiasts will get right behind her with their support for one of their own as they prepare for the foreign invasion of interstate competitors who always threaten to take home a massive share of the Winter carnival prize-money.

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