On a day where she tasted Group One success with Gaultier in the Levin Classic (1600m) in 2017, Matamata trainer Danica Guy was at it again when she produced Germanicus to take out Group Three Bluestar Anniversary Handicap (1600m).
The Rip Van Winkle gelding had looked a promising type when scoring twice over the distance at his most recent starts but yesterday's black type challenge looked a big step up for the four-year-old who was having just his 13th career start.
With ex-pat Kiwi Mick Dee aboard, Germanicus settled beautifully on the fence beyond midfield as La Bella Rosa and Hinerangi set up a solid speed in front.
Dee angled Germanicus off the fence approaching the home corner but was desperate for room in the straight as eventual runner-up Cutting Up Rough held him in a pocket. Dee and Germanicus saw clear air at the 150m and charged home to get in the deciding stride over Cutting Up Rough with Scott Base just a neck away in third.
Despite throwing her charge in at the deep end, Guy was confident he had what it took to rise to a new level.
"He's just kept stepping up and as he's got more tractable in his racing manners, he's showing us what he can be," Guy said.
"I definitely think that there is more to come. After his last race he had proved that he would be competitive at this level. It's good for him to have an away trip against better competition to see where he's at.
"Where we go to from here is another story as we will just consolidate now and wait for next season."
- NZ Racing Desk