One-time Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer defied a big drift in betting to record a tough win in the 2015 Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury this afternoon.
The Offer drifted from $5.50 out to $9 in the final moments before the Rowley Mile and he was settled at the tail of the field in the early stages of the race while Rugged Cross, Dragon Flyer and Footy Fan were caught in a battle for the lead.
Jockey Blake Shinn made his move on The Offer coming around the turn and the imported stayer showed an impressive turn-of-foot to take up the running before he outstayed his rivals to record his first race win since he took out the 2014 edition of the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
Shinn admitted after the race that he hoped he would be able to be able to settle The Offer closer to the speed in the early stages of the Listed Rowley Mile (1600m), but when it became clear that was not possible he elected to turn the race into a genuine staying contest.
“It is fantastic to have a horse like this back,” Shinn said.
“It is a lot of hard work to get a horse that has been off the winners scene for a while and full credit to Gai and the staff.
“It didn’t work out as Gai hoped, we wanted to be positive early but it was evident I couldn’t be there, so with the weight I just let him settle.
“With the weight I made a decisive decision to get on my bike and I knew that he was a staying horse and we had stamina on our side.
“He did a great job to keep going.
“Hopefully he can get back to that level and get another Group 1 on the board.
“It is great to see him back.”
The Offer stamped himself as 2014 Melbourne Cup favourite when he took out the Group 3 Manion Cup (2400m), Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) and Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but he was unable to replicate that form in the autumn.
The Montjeu gelding started his spring campaign with a promising fifth in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6, but he was unable to threaten in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and he was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished 11th in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
The Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be the major 2015 Spring Racing Carnival goal for The Offer and he is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $34 with Ladbrokes.