Four generations of involvement in the same thoroughbred line had yet another reward for the Godsalve family when Germanicus won the Gr. 3 Bluestar Anniversary Mile at Trentham on Saturday.
The four-year-old completed a remarkable hat-trick with his hard-fought victory, which followed wins at his previous two starts in rating 65 and 72 grade. It was an ambitious call by trainer Danica Guy to head to Wellington and take on much stronger company, but there was no disputing the result.
However determined that commitment, in terms of years it doesn’t match that of the Godsalve family. That goes back to the 1980s and Germanicus’s great granddam Miss Jaybeejay, trained at Takanini by Ray Verner and the winner of the Sir Tristram Classic when the three-year-old fillies’ race was contested at Te Rapa in late spring.
Miss Jaybeejay’s foals included the speedy but temperamental galloper Selenium, who Jim Gibbs prepared for four wins, and she in turn became the dam of St Germaine, who likewise won four races under the training of John Sargent. Her most notable win was the Gold Trail Stakes, while she was also placed in the Gr. 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes and Levin Classic. St Germaine is now the dam of Germanicus, who on Saturday met the ‘family standard’ of four wins, but in his case that is unlikely to be the end of it.
The common denominator in this line of talented racehorses has been the Godsalve family, who moved from Auckland to Matamata some 20 years ago. Alan Godsalve was a police detective in the big smoke before he and wife Leonie decided on a change of lifestyle and bought a piece of land on the western outskirts of our town.
For the past decade Alan has been a member of racing’s Judicial Control Authority, a role that involves passing judgement on licence-holders – most times jockeys – who transgress the rules, as well as adjudicate in the case of raceday protests. To avoid any conflict of interest he cannot play an active role in racehorse ownership, however his wife Leonie and daughter Steph are part of the syndicate that races Germanicus.
The winning jockey on Saturday was Melbourne-based Mick Dee, who grew up in Matamata as the son of former trainer Richard Dee and served the early part of his apprenticeship here. He also rode at the recent Ellerslie carnival, where he won the Gr. 2 Rich Hill Mile on Prise De Fer, while on Saturday he also finished second on the Moroney/Gerard-trained Harlech in the Gr. 1 Levin Classic, which was won by the Sam Collett-ridden Cambridge filly Travelling Light.
Germanicus has further major assignments on his schedule, although that won’t include this weekend’s Gr. 1 Thorndon Mile back at Trentham. Instead connections will consider stepping him up to a middle-distance with the Taranaki Cup on February 1 and the Matamata Veterinary Services Kaimai Stakes on his home track on February 22 likely targets. -Dennis Ryan