New Zealand's multiple stakes winner Germanicus is in the right condition to turn his fortunes around with a return to top form at Te Rapa on Saturday in what may be his final appearance of the season.
The six-year-old will be aided in his quest to add the Wig (Noel) Wilson Memorial Mile (1600m) to his record with the booking of apprentice Masa Hashizume reducing the gelding's impost to a more manageable 59kg.
Germanicus has been a reliable performer for Matamata trainer Danica Guy with five victories, including success in the Group 3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham and two starts back he triumphed in the Listed Flying Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni.
“His work has been great and he's just flying at the moment. He's a very happy horse and right on his game,” Guy said. “They will definitely know he's there on Saturday.”
Germanicus will be making the fourth appearance of his current campaign and a decision on his immediate future will be made after the weekend.
“He's pretty much at the end of it, there's not really a lot else around for him,” Guy said.
“In the open handicaps he is forced to carry a lot of weight and he doesn't do wet tracks. We have been lucky and been able to sneak a couple of extra runs into him because we've haven't had too much rain, normally it would be too wet for him.
“He may go out for a break, we'll wait and see what happens on Saturday and then decide.”
At his most recent appearance, the son of Rip Van Winkle was unplaced in the Group 3 Easter Handicap (1600m) after drawing an outside barrier and rider Michael McNab was forced to drop to the tail of the field.
“He jumped well and then went back and was wide and last, he got all the wrong kind of luck so we put a line through that,” Guy said.
“Michael said the run was way better than it might have looked and he was actually quite happy with the horse under the circumstances.”
Germanicus has been a mainstay in recent seasons for Guy, whose stable has gone through a transitionary period.
“I had a lot of slow ones and we've worked our way through those and got rid of them. Hopefully, we are looking alright for the future now,” she said.
“Things are turning around after a very slow couple of years. I've got a couple of handy ones in at the moment and certainly a few more to look forward to for next season.”
Another maiden that Guy has high hopes for next term is Rip Van Winkle's daughter Another Bella, who has acquitted herself well in strong age group company.
She overcame tardy beginnings to finish seventh and sixth respectively in the Listed Oaks Prelude (1600m) at Pukekohe Park and the Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings before an unplaced effort in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).
“She's still out spelling and she is going to be a lovely staying mare for next season. I was tossing up whether to give her another run after the Oaks, she had no favours at all in that,” Guy said.
“The choice was to run her again and look at Brisbane or put her out, which we elected to do. She has got a motor and I think she's one to look forward to.”