NZ Racing Desk | 14 Sep 20

Danica Guy couldn’t be happier with her talented galloper Germanicus (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) as the five-year-old begins a Group One programme of assignments this season at Hastings on Saturday.

The Matamata trainer has Germanicus set to resume in the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m), in which he will be ridden by Chad Ormsby, his rider in each of his two lead-up trials. The latest of those trials resulted in a win over Group One performer Supera at Te Teko on September 3.

“Chad suits him,” Guy said. “He came over on Saturday to gallop him and he was rapt with him.

“He (Germanicus) is as well as I can get him going into his first-up run. He finds his work and his trials very easy and the next level of fitness for him is having a race.

“He’ll improve a shade with the run at Hawke’s Bay, but he’ll give them a shake. He just needs a reasonable track. He’s flying.”

The son of Rip Van Winkle has won four of his 14 starts and been placed on five occasions.

He picked up a treble last season, culminating in victory in the Gr.3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham last January, and his sole race since then was in the Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic (1600m) at Otaki a month later when fifth to Avantage.

Even though Germanicus has already established a good record, Guy believes he can go to a higher level this season.

“He’s been a slow learner, but he’s come back mentally a different animal,” Guy said. “He’s grown up and is also stronger under saddle.

“He had a good, long break and I’m excited over what he could do this season.”

Guy has Germanicus nominated for all three legs of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown, but won’t make a decision on the final leg, the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) on October 17, until after he contests the second leg, the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) a fortnight earlier.

“At this stage I’m just concentrating on the first two legs,” she said. “Even though he’s nominated for the Livamol, I’m pretty keen to just wait a bit before trying him over 2000m, but it will all depend on how he is going.

“He will run in the first two legs and could go for the Captain Cook Stakes (Gr.1, 1600m) at Trentham, then wait for the Herbie Dyke Stakes (Gr.1, 2000m) at Te Rapa in February before being tried over ground.

“There’s also the Zabeel Classic (Gr.1, 2000m) at Ellerslie between times, but he’s better left-handed and he loves Te Rapa so we’d probably wait for the Herbie Dyke.”