Regular jockey Tommy Berry believes that talented stayer The Offer is a much stronger horse ahead of his 2014 Melbourne Cupcampaign.
The Offer made his first public appearance since he took out the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in April when he contested a barrier trial over 1200 metres at Royal Randwick on Friday and the Montjeu gelding worked home strongly to finish third behind Danas Best and Bonfire.
Berry told Sky Racing HQ that he was thrilled with the performance of The Offer in the barrier trial and said that he got a great feel from the Melbourne Cup favourite.
“He felt very nice,” Berry said.
“He has come back so much stronger; definitely behind the saddle and in his chest and shoulder area.
“He is a much bigger and stronger horse this preparation and I guess that showed in his trial where he was able to finish third.
“In his previous trials from his last couple of preparations he was struggling to keep up with the second last horse.
“That just shows that he has come back a lot stronger and a lot more mature, which I guess he has to going towards a Melbourne Cup campaign.”
Berry did plenty of trackwork on The Offer when he first joined the Gai Waterhouse stable after previously being prepared by Aidan O’Brien in Ireland and he admits that he has been surprised with the improvement that the rising six-year-old has shown in the past 12 months.
The leading hoop said that he was always confident that The Offer would continue to develop after he took out the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) in impressive fashion during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but would not have picked that the imported stayer would take out the Group 3 Manion Cup (2400m), Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) and Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in dominant fashion.
“Before he won that country cup in Melbourne (Ballarat Cup) I said to Gai that this horse had really turned the corner and then he went out for a spell,” Berry said.
“I always thought that he would come back better, but not to the heights that he went to.
“He has just continued to improve and like many European horses they do take a couple of preparations to acclimatise and Gai has definitely got the key to him now.”
The Offer is currently available at odds of $13 in the 2014 Melbourne Cup betting market with Ladbrokes Australia.