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Image: Darren Winningham
Gypsy Goddess will be out to confirm her spot at the top of Australian Oaks markets

Trainer David Vandyke admits he is unsure how unbeaten Queenslander Gypsy Goddess will line up against the top Sydney fillies, despite having a couple of decent measuring sticks.

Vandyke prepared Yankee Rose, who captured the 2016 Spring Champion Stakes as a three-year-old filly and was placed behind Winx in that year’s Cox Plate, and Arabian Gold who won the 2014 Adrian Knox Stakes and was runner-up in the Queensland Oaks.

However, Gypsy Goddess has been more difficult to gauge as she shows little on the training track.

In fact, Vandyke didn’t rate her until she made her debut at the Sunshine Coast in October.

“I didn’t have much of an opinion of her until she went to the races,” Vandyke said.

“She flies under the radar. She is very relaxed around the stable and indeed on race day she is ultra-relaxed, so it’s a bit hard to get a guide compared to those others.

“You’ve seen what I’ve seen. She lifts under race pressure and hopefully she does that Saturday.”

The three-year-old is unbeaten in five starts and made the transition to stakes grade over the Brisbane summer with victory in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2000m).

She returned from a seven-week break to easily account for her rivals over a mile at Eagle Farm last start and Vandyke is keen to see what she can do in Saturday’s Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) where her rivals include Surround Stakes winner Hinged, Thousand Guineas victor Yearning and Fangirl.

“It’s a big race Saturday and obviously she is undefeated. Whether she can measure up to the big time I’m not sure, but she deserves a crack against the good fillies,” Vandyke said.

“I would have liked to have drawn a bit closer (than barrier 11) but it forces our hand a bit and she will get back.”

Gypsy Goddess shares Vinery favouritism with Hinged and is a clear-cut top pick for next month’s ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) which Vandyke has confirmed is her main goal.

 
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