The 2015 Newcastle Cup field has been released and The Offer is set to carry the top weight of 58 kilograms in the Group 3 event that will be held on Friday afternoon.
The Offer was the early favourite for the Melbourne Cup before he failed to make the race following an injury in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), but trainer Gai Waterhouse remains keen to get the Sydney Cup winner to ‘the race that stops a nation’ in 2015.
The Montjeu entire produced a very tough performance to start his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Listed Rowley Mile (1600m) at Hawkesbury on August 20 and he hit the line strongly to finish fifth behind Beyond Thankful in the Listed Wyong Cup (2080m) on September 4.
Beyond Thankful was the beneficiary of a stellar Hugh Bowman ride when he took out the Wyong Cup and the Chris Waller-trained galloper is set to take on a very similar field when he contests the Newcastle Cup on Friday.
Orbec finished third in the Wyong Cup and he is set to back-up in the Newcastle Gold Cup along with runner-up Just As Cosmic, Paul Perry-trained Ghost Protocol, Australian Bloodstock-owned Oriental Lady and Team Snowden-trained Disclaimer.
One of the most interesting runners in the 2015 Newcastle Gold Cup field is David Vandyke-trained Astronomos, who has recorded three metropolitan wins from four starts this preparation.
Astronomos made a long sustained run to win over 1600 metres at Warwick Farm on July 1 and he made it back-to-back wins at Royal Randwick on July 11 before he beat home just a single runners in the Dooleys Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 15.
The New Approach entire was settled a long way back in the early stages of the TAB Rewards Handicap (2000m) at Royal Randwick on September 5, but he was able to fly home late in the final stages to record an impressive win.
Another imported stayer that is set to take winning form into the Newcastle Cup is Godolphin-owned Magic Hurricane.
Magic Hurricane started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a third place finish behind Centre Pivot and Countryman in the Canterbury Hurlstone RSL Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 15 and he stamped himself as a legitimate Newcastle Cup contender when he scored a narrow victory over Silverball in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 29.
Queensland based Jetset Lad, Tony McEvoy-trained Sasenkile, imported stayer Rio Perdido, Gai Waterhouse-trained Zee Zeely, local hope Nissile, German stayer Napoleon and Mick Dwyer-trained More Than Aholiday round out the 2015 Newcastle Cup field.