Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer can win the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday according to his rider Tommy Berry.
The Offer will be having his second Spring Carnival run after producing an eye catching fifth to The Cleaner first up in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6.
“I spoke with Gai this morning and she can’t believe how good he’s come through his first run and how good he looks in the coat,’’ Berry told The Daily Telegraph.
“I’m excited about the fact he’s stepping up 200m in distance, and two weeks later in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington, that will suit him down to the ground.
“But he’s a tough horse, a clean-winded horse, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him win.’’
The Irish import steps up to 1800m this weekend and trainer Gai Waterhouse will gradually increase his distances as he heads towards the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4.
The Offer has drawn towards the outside of the ten horse Underwood Stakes field at eight and that will give Berry the option of going forward or slotting in midfield in the early stages.
Star Rolling is an on pace runner and will go forward from his four gate while the Robert Hickmott trained English import Thought Worthy is having his first run for over twelve months after racing with the leaders before dropping out to finish ninth over 2000m at Flemington at his second Australian start.
Waterhouse is looking to win back to back Melbourne Cups after collecting the winning trophy last year with English import Fiorente and The Offer has been the favourite for the ‘Race That Stops The Nation’ since completing a hat trick of wins during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Berry stuck with The Offer all the way through the Autumn and the pair combined to win the Group 3 Ambassador Travel N E Manion Cup (2400m) at Rosehill, the Group 2 $300,000 Schweppes Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Randwick and the Group 1 $1m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) also at Randwick.
Bookmakers immediately reacted to The Offer’s three and three quarter lengths wins in the Sydney Cup by posting him at the top of the Melbourne Cup market order and he is currently the $13 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Japanese stayer Bande is next in the betting at $15 just ahead of rival Japanese galloper Admire Rakti who shares the $17 mark with last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner and super Kiwi mare Silent Achiever.