Staking his claims as a serious staying contender through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival in his most recent preparation, trainer Gai Waterhouse is pleased with the building form of 2014 Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer following an impressive trial at Randwick before the races on Saturday.
Securing an impressive total of six wins and five minor places from just 17 competitive race starts so far, The Offer has not been seen at the races since charging home to win the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) by close to four lengths on day 2 of The Championships on April 19th.
Dealt a huge blow to a successful Melbourne Cup defence when 2013 champion Fiorente was forced to retire earlier this year after suffering a severe tendon injury, Waterhouse told The Daily Telegraph she is pleased with the building form of the Montjeu gelding, but conceded he is yet to reach peak condition and fitness.
“I thought his trial was nice on Saturday, but I don’t think he’s fully fit. He ran on, but he didn’t run right to the post. Tom (Berry) was pleased, but I don’t think he was quite fit,” Waterhouse said.
“I’ll keep him in Sydney and, weather permitting, will trial him between races next Saturday, then put him on a float to Melbourne.”
Yet confirm a definitely path for The Offer on his way to the 2014 Melbourne Cup, Waterhouse told AAP the five-year-old will likely kick-off his campaign in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6th; the first point of call for Fiorente in the lead up to the 2013 edition of the Cup.
“He could start off in the Dato Tan Chin Nam,” Waterhouse said.
Returning to racing this year for a less-than convincing sixth in a minor over 1400m on March 1st, The Offer ran on to finish third in the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) a fortnight later before securing three impressive victories back-to-back; claiming the Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) and Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) prior to his Sydney Cup triumph.
A notable performer in his native Ireland upon debuting to racing in early 2012, The Offer began his career under the guidance of renowned trainer Aidan O’Brien before transferring to the care of Waterhouse of the conclusion of the same year.
The Offer is currently available at a quote of $13 for success in the 2014 Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes Australia.