Leading trainer Gai Waterhouse could not be happier with the 2014 Sydney Cup lead-up form of The Offer and she is full of confidence that the tough stayer will record his maiden win at Group 1 level in the $1 million event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Offer stamped himself as a stayer to watch with a dominant victory in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and has maintained that form during his autumn campaign.
The Montjeu entire started his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival preparation with a promising sixth behind stablemate Ecuador in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 1 and stayed on well when third in the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on March 15.
The Offer clearly relished the heavy going when he stormed away from the rest of the field to win the Group 3 Manion Cup (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29 and stamped himself as a dominant Sydney Cup favourite with another comfortable win in the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
Waterhouse has been thrilled with the flawless Sydney Cup lead-up form of The Offer and believes that the five-year-old and stablemate Hippopus will be the first two horses across the line in the Group 1 event this weekend.
“They will run first and second, you can back them,” Waterhouse told TVN
“That’s exactly how they have been racing over the past few weeks.
“Both handle the going and are looking for longer.”
Hippopus will be stepping up to 3200 metres for the first time in his racing career in the Sydney Cup, but Waterhouse is confident that the High Chaparral gelding will relish the step-up in trip after he recorded a dominant three lengths win in the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on Anzac Day last year.
The four-year-old failed to fire during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but has returned to his best form this preparation with a second place finish in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 and a tough third in the Chairman’s Handicap.
The Offer is currently a clear favourite in 2014 Sydney Cup betting markets, at a quote of $3.10, while Hippopus is available at the attractive each-way odds of $15.