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By Graham Potter | Monday, March 28, 2022

The second half of March saw the David Vandyke stable produce six place-getters, with those results coming all across the board from Maiden company right up to no less than Group 1 level .

The previously unbeaten Gypsy Goddess was the runner to claim a highly creditable third place in the Group 1 Vinery Stakes, a race which had to be switched from the originally scheduled Rosehill meeting on the Saturday to Newcastle on Monday, March 28 because of the inclement weather.

Coming into the race with a perfect record meant that there was always going to be plenty of respect for Gypsy Goddess, in spite of the big step up in class, and she duly started as favourite at $3.80, only marginally ahead of the former Queenslander (now Chris Waller trained) Hinged who was marked up at $3.90. The $6 chance Fangirl was the only other runner marked up in single figures.

These three runners duly filled the first three places, but it was the longest priced runner of the group, Fangirl, who ultimately prevailed over Hinged in a punishing stride-for-stride battle to the line.

The $10 chance Never Been Kissed took the field along at a brisk gallop in the early part as Gypsy Goddess settled in the second half of the field, all of nine to ten lengths off the leader. At that stage Hinged was in second place, tracking the leader, while Fangirl raced a couple of lengths behind Hinged in fourth spot.

Willie Pike, who was riding Gypsy Goddess for the first time, did improve his mount’s position, ranging very wide in the sweep to the turn, but she still cornered with a good six lengths to make up … and that with the leaders showing no signs of stopping.

Inside the last 200m, Never been Kissed, Hinged and Fangirl were locked in a stirring three-way battle with Gypsy Goddess starting to run on from behind, but now clearly left with too much ground to make up.

When Never been Kissed cried enough, it left Hinged and Fangirl with the race between them … when Fangirl finding the extra to claim Group 1 glory.

Gypsy Goddess lost no fans in defeat and, arguably, did as well as she could under the circumstances, to claim that third place.

Both of the horses who beat Gypsy Goddess home had more race experience behind their names … Fangirl was having her ninth start and Hinged was in action for the fourteenth time compared to the fact that Gypsy Goddess was only racing for the fifth time.

They also had both tasted Group 1 action before whereas this was Gypsy Goddess’s Group 1 baptism of fire. This was also an away game fir Gypsy Goddess, having had to travel interstate to take her place in the Vinery line-up.

No excuses, just a couple of factors which, when taken into account, underline the merit of Gypsy Goddess’s performance.

The other five horses to fill a minor placing for the David Vandyke stable in the second half of March were:

Street Dancer:
Finished second in a Class 1 Plate over 1600m at Eagle Farm in his first run for the stable after transferring from Anthony Cummings.

Lyrical Lover:
Finished third on debut in a Maiden Handicap over 1350m at Ipswich.

Fast Talking:
Finished second in a Class 5 Handicap over 1200m at Ipswich in his first start for the stable after transferring from Kody Nestor.

Finished third in a BM85 Handicap over 1050m at Doomben in his second start for the stable.

Finished third in a BM80 Handicap over 1600m in his first start for the stable after transferring from Bjorn Baker.

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Gypsy Goddess ... finished third in her first crack at the Group 1 level
Gypsy Goddess ... finished third in her first crack at the Group 1 level
Street Dancer
Street Dancer

Photos: Graham Potter

Photos: Graham Potter
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