Gai Waterhouse and Tommy Berry combined to record another Group 1 victory at Royal Randwick this afternoon; with The Offer romping home in the 2014 Sydney Cup.
The Waterhouse/Berry connection scored a surprise victory with Diamond Drille in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) earlier in the day, but there were no surprises with the performance of The Offer who romped home in a canter to record his maiden Group 1 win from Opinion and Sertorius.
Berry got The Offer into a beautiful position just off the speed early in the race, while other leading contenders like Voleuse De Coeurs and Tremec were caught wide, and he showed his class to blitz the rest of the field when asked for an extra effort.
Waterhouse was full of confidence that The Offer would romp home in the Sydney Cup, after he scored dominant wins in the Group 3 Manion Cup (2400m) and Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m), and she was clearly thrilled with the performance of the impressive stayer; indicating that the Montjeu gelding would now be set for the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
“What a stayer,” Waterhouse said after the race.
“He just donkey licked them and I love the way that in a muddling run race, where he couldn’t just get into his rhythm, he picked up and picked up.
“Look out Melbourne Cup, here we come 2014.”
Tommy Berry was celebrating his second Group 1 victory in just over an hour and paid tribute to his brother Nathan Berry, who had plenty to do with The Offer when he first arrived in Australia from the stable of Aidan O’Brien at the end of 2012.
“I’ve said from the start that this was Nathan’s horse,” an emotional Berry said after the race.
“The hardest thing is coming back here because normally he would be the first person to give me a cuddle and he is not here to do that anymore.
“I’m glad that I’ve come back to ride and I am making him proud.
“Every race I win for the rest of my life is going to be for Nathan; he is my best mate, he is my best support and I will never be able to replace him.
“As I said last week, riding is something that he loved doing and I am so fortunate that I am in the same career.
“I sat beside Nathan in his bed for two weeks and he fought harder than anyone that I have ever seen.
“Doing this is easy – it is nothing compared to what Nathan went through and nothing in life is going to be hard compared to what he went through.”
The 2014 Sydney Cup victory was the second for Waterhouse in the Group 1 event after she won with Linesman in 1997.