Matamata trainer Danica Guy knows that promising four-year-old Germanicus has the ability of a Group horse. But she is also wary that the four-year-old gelding has a few wayward tendencies.
The emerging miler will contest the Lodge Residential (1600m) at Te Rapa on Saturday, the scene of his last-start victory over the same distance, having bounced back from a dismal performance at Ellerslie where he trailed the field home after hanging and proving a difficult ride. “He is spot on for this race,” Guy said. “He galloped really well on Tuesday morning. He hasn’t missed a beat. It is just a case of how wayward he is in the running.”
Despite returning to his best when racing left-handed at Te Rapa last start, Guy is not permanently shelving right-handed racing options. “He trialled up at Te Teko (right-handed) and railed like a greyhound,” she said. “It is just a mental thing. He is not the easiest horse and he hasn’t really put it all together yet. “I think when the penny drops, he has got Group horse potential. He is a very good horse but he is still a bit dumb and doing a lot of things wrong.
“I think we can probably cross the right-handed barrier at some stage in the future, but at this stage we will keep him to left-handed racing this preparation until we can get his racing manners a bit better. “He’s not an overly robust animal but he’s very athletic and he doesn’t drop away, he keeps his condition. I do space his races and he doesn’t require much galloping between races.”
Raced by the St Germaine Syndicate, Germanicus is out of the former John Sargent trained mare St Germaine, a Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed. Although holding a nomination for the Group 1 Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m), Guy said things would have to go the right way to be considering a tilt at the elite level just yet. “He is probably 12 months away from a race like that. He is definitely up to that class and ability, but he is probably not ready mentally yet. “But if he came out and ran a blinder tomorrow and then won again, maybe he would get there, but it is pretty much pie in the sky at this stage.”
Guy will also saddle five-year-old mare Sunburst in the same race and she returns to a mile after failing over 2040m last start. “She’s working really well. I just don’t know if she wants to be a 2000m plus horse now. We’ve freshened her up a bit and her work has been fantastic. I don’t think she can beat him but she will run well.”
Guy is pleased with some of the talent coming through her boutique stable including three-year-old Ocean Park filly Showboat and Atlante gelding Wild West. “We’ve got some gorgeous two-year-olds. We’re just putting one foot in front of the other and we’re looking after them. “I’ve got another nice Ocean Park filly that I haven’t stepped out yet but I think a lot of her as well. We’ve got a few nice ones around us but it all takes time.”