Gypsy Goddess (Tarzino) claims the 2022 Group 1 Queensland Oaks.

Photo credit \ Darren Winningham

Tarzino Filly Takes Trainer to New Height

David Vandyke surpassed any previous training achievements that included three elite level successes when his outstanding Tarzino filly, Gypsy Goddess, romped to victory in the G1 Queensland Oaks.

The Sunshine Coast-based trainer revelled in the glory and had no doubt that events at Eagle Farm trumped all others as his pride and joy came from a mile back in the field under jockey William Pike for a dominant win.

“That was just amazing and the love and care that has gone into her over the last seven and a-half months since she won her maiden from the staff, the vet and the farrier has been an amazing period of time,” Vandyke said.

“We have been focussed to get this girl to the best possible place and to finish that with a Group 1 is a career highlight.”

Gypsy Goddess’ hollow victory credited her Westbury Stud stallion Tarzino with the second Group 1 siring success of his fledgling career following Jungle Magnate’s win in the South Australian Derby.

The filly was raised at Gordon Cunningham’s Curraghmore and after failing to meet her $20,000 reserve at Karaka is raced by co-breeder Chris Lawler with a syndicate that includes Bob Jones, a long-time stable client.

“Bob Jones has been with me for many, many years and has been a great client, to win a Group 1 for him is great,” Vandyke said.

“It’s been such a journey, such an arduous time and to see her wrap up a field of quality fillies like that in her home state – that will do me.”

Gypsy Goddess, who broke her maiden on her home track in the spring, has now won six of her nine starts including the G3 Grand Prix Stakes and was third in the G1 Flight Stakes and runner-up in the G1 Australian Oaks.

“She has had a hard journey and raced here and then went down to the heavy tracks in Sydney and I said to the boys if it was any other horse she would have been turned out,” Vandyke said.

“We just gave her every chance to get here and she bounced back well this last week.”

Gypsy Goddess drew the outside gate of 18 at Eagle Farm and settled well back before Pike cut loose 700 metres from home, they quickly looped the field to stroll home with the length winning margin flattering her opposition.

“Willie probably just wished he had waited another furlong, she just rounded them up and went to the front and I thought he may have gone too soon,” Vandyke said.

“He had a lap full of horse and she loves Eagle Farm. The job is done, she’s won a Group 1 and done a fantastic job for a great group of patient owners.”

Pike was understandably delighted that a long-term plan to chase the ride when relocating from Western Australia to the Eastern States had paid off.

“I guess barriers aren’t too big of an issue when you have a horse with gears like her,” he said.

“She had a bit on this field and I rode her accordingly, but I still got there a bit early. That was Plan B for sure.

“I’ve had a few Group 1’s, I’ve been lucky, but this one goes right up there because of the significance of the move that I made (East) and everything surrounding it. Just being here, I really appreciate it.”

On the Eagle Farm under-card, the Gerry Harvey-bred and part-owned Sharp ‘N’ Smart went oh so close to  winning his Australian debut.

The Graeme and Debbie Rogerson-trained son of Redwood had booked his trip to Australia with an impressive victory in the Listed Champagne Stakes at Pukekohe and finished powerfully again to run the closest of seconds in the Listed The Phoenix in the hands of Hugh Bowman. The gelding is likely to back up in next Saturday’s JJ Atkins Stakes G1.