Bargain buy GYPSY GODDESS and WEONA SMARTONE are chasing a $6.975 Million payday when they contest races worth a collective total of $13 Million at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
Trainer David Vandyke has the opportunity to secure the biggest payday of any trainer in Queensland history tomorrow with GYPSY GODDESS contesting the $10 Million Golden Eagle and WEONA SMARTONE the $3 Million Nature Strip Stakes respectively.
The pair share similar stories - with both being raced in the colours of owner Bob Jones and purchased from the Karaka Yearling Sales.
Remarkably GYPSY GODDESS was passed in for $20,000NZD as a yearling and is now staring down the barrel of a $10 Million race which carries first prizemoney of $5.25 Million, $2 Million for second and a million dollars for third.
Likewise, WEONA SMARTONE, who was purchased for $160,000NZD, has the opportunity to take his earning past $2 Million as he vies for the cool $1.725 Million on offer in the Nature Strip Stakes.
For the trainer just 24 out from the race, the majority of the hard work has been done and the rest is now up to the Wizard from the West in jockey Willie Pike, who partners both horses. “We’re fortunate with the way things are playing out, one more sleep and we’re headed to the $10 Million Golden Eagle,” said Vandyke. “We’re on a soft 5 and could be on a good track by tomorrow come race time." Despite being first-up since claiming the Queensland Oaks, Vandyke said GYPSY GODDESS was primed to run the 1500m of the Golden Eagle lining up against a "stellar line-up of horses with international form”. “We’ve got Willie Pike who has ridden her work the last two weeks and knows her back to front now,” he said. “There should be good pace in this race and if she can get daylight at the top of the straight, I think she’s in good enough condition to be finishing off very well.” Vandyke is under no illusion about the challenge facing WEONA SMARTONE, who was a fast finishing third in the $2 Million Sydney Stakes last start but takes on some classy sprinters backing up after The Everest. “I’m really happy with the way he has come on since the Sydney Stakes,” said Vandyke. “Obviously the 1300m is a query and we’re against some horses coming out of The Everest and ran terrific races there. “But I think he’ll run a career best performance if he can get the 1300m."