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By Graham Potter | Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Last Saturday at Eagle Farm, the three-year-old filly Gypsy Goddess made it five wins from five starts and she will now head to Sydney in search of Group 1 glory.

Trainer Vandyke offered these views on his rising star.

“I’m delighted with the way Gypsy Goddess came through her race last Saturday,” confirmed Vandyke.

“I think the fact that she had petrol in the tank at the end of the race contributed to her good recovery.

“For me, the performance on Saturday well surpassed expectations. Obviously her first preparation was impressive, but she was taking on a new group of horses on Saturday.

“I thought she might have been a bit under-done for a mile, first-up at Eagle Farm.

“I didn’t really know how she had come back. Her trials were ok … they were not brilliant. I just thought she might get a bit tired late, and I told Kyle Wilson-Taylor to really be kind to her early and just let her drop out.

“I thought that she would probably be last early on … and I was quite happy when she raced two or three lengths off them because I thought she was keeping her heart-rate down and that she would have every chance just to run to the line and if she did that well enough it would be a pass mark for me … and would set her up potentially for a trip to Sydney, so I was happy with that.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting her to come into the race so easily and then, if you have a look at the run past the line, she was just ready to go on with it.

“You know, as it turned out, if it had been 1800m first-up it might have suited her even better. Nevertheless, it was an exceptional effort on Saturday,

“It is exciting … because, as I say, I didn’t think I had her one hundred percent ready. I was making sure that there was something in the locker for Sydney, and I thought that I had presented her a little under-done … but, if that was a little bit under-done, she will improve with that performance and she’ll be running very well in Sydney, that’s for sure.”

The run Vandyke was describing was Gypsy Goddess’s first race action since her win in the Group 3 Grand Prix nearly three months earlier which rounded off a four race, four wins first preparation.

“She effectively only had two weeks off (Gypsy Goddess had two trials in February) and I noticed she was much more switched on when she came back,” continued Vandyke.

“She wanted to get the job done when she was out on the track. She was enjoying the trackwork. She was very competitive in company … and these are all the traits that she didn’t show at the start of her previous prep when she wasn’t really switched on to being a racehorse and being competitive. At that stage she was happy just to meander around and pretty much enjoy running at a moderate pace.

“She has learnt about being a racehorse now and being competitive … and is still learning … but her demeanour is still so relaxed.

“In fact, what probably struck me the most about Saturday is how relaxed she was before the race … and ever after. It was like she knew why she was there. She was almost zen-like.

“She’ll head down to Sydney next week.” (Gypsy Goddess will now be targeting The Vinery and the Australian Oaks).

“You always need a bit of luck going into a big race, particularly when you have got to travel … different track, different circumstances mean different requirements.

“It will all be new to her, so we’ll see how we go, but it is a lovely position to be in taking an unbeaten filly into those big races.

“The owner is a big Willie Pike fan … so he will be riding her in Sydney. He loves him and he was tickled pink when he knew that Willie was able to ride her … and that is a big consideration when an owner gets somebody he wants on top of the horse.

“Willie knows what to do out there. I’ve spoken to him and I’m really looking forward to it.

“Off the back of some of the other good horses I’ve had, I was always hoping that a good horse would come along again.

“At the start, I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be her.

“She has certainly surprised me … and what a pleasant surprise it has been!”

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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