Gypsy Goddess will race for the first time without blinkers at the Gold Coast on Saturday in an experiment her trainer hopes will lead to a Group 1 Queensland Oaks victory next month.
Trainer David Vandyke has surprised many by redirecting Gypsy Goddess’s Oaks campaign through the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet over 1800 metres.
The filly is coming off a gutsy second on a heavy track in the Group 1 Australian Oaks at Randwick last month.
It was originally planned for Gypsy Goddess to start next in the Group 2 The Roses over 2000 metres on May 21 before her training routine was disrupted.
A scheduled barrier trial at the Sunshine Coast this week was shortened and transferred to the inside track.
“She’s bounced back nicely after her Oaks run in Sydney but we had to change tact after the trials were transferred to the inside track,” Vandyke said.
“She galloped well on Tuesday morning without blinkers so I’m taking them off.
“It’s more of a long-term strategy and her work has picked up a lot.
“She hasn’t drawn well in barrier 13 so I’m not sure where she’ll end up in the run.”
Vandyke said he wanted to see how Gypsy Goddess raced without blinkers but won’t hesitate to put them back on if she failed to compete satisfactorily in the Gold Coast Bracelet.
“She doesn’t have to run this Saturday and I’ll wait and make sure I’m happy with her if she’s to run,” he said.
Vandyke said if Gypsy Goddess started in the Gold Coast Bracelet she could bypass The Roses and go straight into the Queensland Oaks over 2200 metres at Eagle Farm on June 4.
“She goes well fresh so there’s no great need for her to run in The Roses if she starts at the Gold Coast,” he said.
Vandyke also will start exciting sprinter Orbisyn and Desert Lord in the Listed Australian Turf Club Trophy over 1200 metres.
Orbisyn is unbeaten in four starts but hasn’t started since winning a Class 3 at Doomben in June last year.
Desert Lord also is on the comeback trail and is having his first start since placing in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup in January.
“Desert Lord should run a good race but he’s also drawn a bad gate in barrier 12 and I’m not sure where we’ll go with him after Saturday,” Vandyke said.
Orbisyn will be ridden by former Victorian jockey Craig Robertson, who moved to the Sunshine Coast in January, and now rides track work for Vandyke.
“He’s had an extended break and hasn’t raced for a year and I’d like to win the Eye Liner Stakes with him later on,” he said.
– Racing Queensland