2022 Queensland Oaks Result and Replay: Gypsy Goddess Wins %

Better than Yankee Rose, better than Alligator Blood.

And a whole lot better than the dark days when he was in the depths of a drug addiction spiral, sleeping in his car in Sydney.

Gypsy Goddess’ remarkable win in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks was the pinnacle of David Vandyke’s training career and a new chapter in the inspiring story of the trainer who once had some very dark days in a past life.

Vandyke, now a clean-living trainer who moved to the Sunshine State in 2016 to seek a new life away from the hustle and bustle of Sydney, was moved to tears when Gypsy Goddess gave her rivals a galloping lesson in the Oaks.

Vandyke had previously won Group 1, twice with Yankee Rose and once with headliner Alligator Blood, but said it was the best moment of his training career.

And it wasn’t a bad time for Willie Pike, the wizard of the west who became the baron of Brisbane when he left Eagle Farm early.

Pike risked ending up with an egg on his face, but he knew he had a star filly under him.

Pike looked like a genius, but this was Vandyke’s special moment.


“The love and care that Gypsy Goddess has received in the past seven and a half months since she won her virginity to keep her afloat, this has been an amazing period,” said Vandyke, his voice cracking with emotion.

“To finish that with a Group 1 is my career highlight.

“She’s had a tough journey, she’s raced up here, she’s gone on the tough tracks to Sydney.

David Vandyke and Willie Pike hold the Queensland Oaks trophy. Photo: Grant Peters-Trackside Photography

“I told the boys a few weeks ago that if it was a different horse we would probably reject her.

“But we just gave her every chance to get to the Oaks.

“Willie probably wished he’d waited another furlong, she just pulled them up and walked forward.

“I thought maybe he left too early.

“He just had a lap full of horse, she doesn’t like Eagle Farm!”

Gypsy Goddess jumped into the Oaks as the $4.40 favorite with gamblers eager to be with her, back on the Eagle Farm course where she had previously won four out of four.

The Australian Oaks runner-up proved just too good with Pike taking his first Group 1 win since moving permanently from Perth to Sydney.

“I don’t know if it was a big ride, she was just too good for them,” Pike said.

“Obviously it’s a tricky barrier, I managed to get in early for some of them but then we got a little shaken up.

“In the corner I really didn’t mean to get going like that, I just lost my cover and the filly said ‘hold on, I’ll take it from here’.”

Gypsy Goddess races past Barb Raider and Le Villi to win the Oaks. Photo: Grant Peters-Trackside Photography

While Gypsy Goddess was dominant, the $5 second favorite Barb Raider gave her heart and didn’t lose any admirers.

Mornington coach Jerome Hunter, who just missed his first Group 1, made no apologies.

“In the end we just got beaten by a better horse. We couldn’t have done much more,” said Hunter.

“She’s given us a great ride through it all, she’s going to take a break now so she can enjoy that.”

Vandyke will take the time to review any future plans with Gypsy Goddess, who has a $26 chance at the Caulfield Cup.

■ Queensland jockey Brad Stewart was given a 20-day suspension for careless driving at The Phoenix, but will be free to ride Soxagon next Saturday in Group 1 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.

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