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By Graham Potter | Sunday, November 7, 2021

The David Vandyke stable sent out two runners at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday, November 7 and came away with two winners in the form of Cotton Fields and Gypsy Goddess … taking the stable’s return for the first week of November to four wins from seven starts after their double on the preceding Friday night.

The lightly raced five-year-old mare Cotton Fields, who had warmed up with a runner-up finish at her previous start, resumed her winning ways when taking out a BM66 Handicap over 1000m with Brad Stewart doing the honours in the saddle.

Stewart settled Cotton Fields ($3.40) in fifth spot, just worse than midfield, and she was still fifth at the turn, although she was starting to move closer.

A brief bumping match early in the straight between Cotton Fields and her market rival and favourite Sakura Star ($3.10) didn’t help Cotton Fields’ cause initially, but, once Cotton Fields had got Sakura Star out of the way and Stewart was able to balance her up again and settle her back onto a straight path, she stretched out beautifully and started to make ground on the leaders.

It remained a competitive race all the way up the straight, but Stewart was timing his run to perfection and Cotton Fields had the race won inside the final 150m, edging away to win by 0.50 lengths … a good effort under the steadying burden on 60kg.

This win took Cotton Fields’ race record to three wins (and two runner-up finishes) from only nine starts.

The Vandyke stable then made it back-to-back race wins when the smart Gypsy Goddess made it two wins from two career starts in a QTIS Three-Year-Old BM Handicap over 1600m.

The three-year-old daughter of Tarzino was a winner on debut in a maiden Plate over 1400m at the Sunshine Coast on October 17.

That win came with Gypsy Goddess roundly neglected in the betting, jumping at a starting price of $26. She made a mockery of those odds, coming from six lengths back and seven wide on the turn, to stride past all of her opposition to score a most impressive win.

Gypsy Goddess’s price tumbled to $2.70 for her second start in which she settled fourth and then fifth, in midfield, down the back stretch. She had slipped a touch further back in the start of the sweep to the turn, but Ryan Maloney was now angling Gypsy Goddess into clear galloping room out wider on the track to set up a shot at the leaders in the home straight.

Gypsy Goddess quickly picked up the momentum on straightening. Du Maurier, the $3.70 second favourite, was the only runner to offer any real resistance to Gypsy Goddess’s claim for superiority but, as game as she was, Du Maurier was ultimately no match for the Vandyke trained runner who finished over the top of Du Maurier under a kind ride by Moloney, who only asked what was needed of his horse to claim what essentially was a very fluent win … to the degree that Gypsy Goddess was actually easing up on the line.

Gypsy Goddess is two from two now, going from 1400m to 1600m without blinking.

Early days, but there is certainly plenty to like about the way she has gone about her business to date.

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Cotton Fields
Cotton Fields
Gypsy Goddess
Gypsy Goddess
Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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