Enigmatic galloper Germanicus was back to his best when he produced an irresistible finish to take out the Listed Bramco Granite & Marble Flying Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni.
The Danica Guy-trained son of Rip Van Winkle, who finished sixth in the Group 1 El Cheapo Cars WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki at his last start back in February, appreciated the strong pace throughout the race and loomed into contention for rider Taiki Yanagida rounding the home turn.
A wall of horses stretched across the track at the 250m but Yanagida had Germanicus fully wound up as he headed the well-favoured Brando in the final 100m to take the win with Miss Cartier charging home late to snatch third from Belclare.
Sent out at odds of better than +3300, Germanicus rewarded Guy’s faith in him after his wayward tendencies had seen him strike trouble in a number of his starts since his last victory in the Group 3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) back in January 2020.
“He always tries hard but is a horse that is always unlucky as he gets himself into awkward situations,” Guy said.
“There is so much relief to see him do that today.
“I’ve been trying to get him to the races lately but the tracks have been so wet. I really have to thank my owners as they have been so patient and trusted me.
“There was a question mark dropping him back in distance today, but he has been working enormous to be fair.
“He needs pace on in front to take some of the bad luck out of the equation and he got that today.”
The victory was the fifth for the six-year-old from just 28 starts and takes his stakes earnings to over NZD$167,000. He is a son of Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) winner St Germaine, who also finished runner-up in the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m).