The Offer is set to return to racing in the 2015 Southbank Insurance Brokers Handicap at the Gold Coast tomorrow and Gai Waterhouse’s stable foremen Mark Newnham believes that the one-time Melbourne Cup favourite can make a winning return to racing.
The Offer has not been seen at the races since he suffered an injury after finishing 11th in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18, but he has recovered from the injury nicely and finished third in two barrier trials at Royal Randwick on May 8 and the same venue on May 25.
Newnham told Racing Ahead that both he and Tommy Berry have been happy with The Offer ahead of the Southbank Insurance Brokers Handicap and he said that the Montjeu is fresh enough to run well before heading for a stint in the spelling paddock ahead of his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
“He is coming along really well,” Newnham said.
“Gai didn’t want to just leave him idle.
“He wasn’t going to be quite ready for Sydney, so he has just kept ticking over and he has had a couple of nice trials here.
“He hasn’t shown any signs that he won’t and Tommy was very happy with his work there on Tuesday.
“He gets his preferred ground this week also, he likes the jar out of the ground and over 1800 first-up he should have enough sprint in his legs to run well.
“In Gai’s eyes a pass mark is a win and that is what we are there for.
“It seems a suitable race to kick him off and then he will be able to stay up there, have 10 to 14 days in the warmer climate before coming back down here and beginning his spring campaign.”
The Offer stamped himself as Melbourne Cup favourite when he recorded a dominant four lengths victory in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but he was unable to replicate that form in the spring.
He started his spring preparation with a fast-finishing fifth in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6, but he could beat home only one runner in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 20 before he produced improved performances without looking like a winning chance in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) or the Caulfield Cup.
The Offer is currently available at 2015 Southbank Insurance Brokers Handicap odds of $4.60 and is on the second line of betting behind Team Snowden-trained Lucky Lago.