The Offer will kick off his 2015 Melbourne Cup campaign in the Listed $100,000 XXXX Gold Hawkesbury Rowley Mile (1600m) at Hawkesbury on Thursday.
The 2014 Sydney Cup winner has been lumped with 61kg and heads the field of the Rowley Mile which has only attracted eight final acceptors.
Blake Shinn has been engaged to ride the Gai Waterhouse trained stayer who has drawn barrier five in the small field.
The Offer has been out of a place in his five runs since winning the Group 1 $1m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival and will be having his first race start since running eighth to Addictive Habit in the Listed $100,000 Southbank Insurance Brokers Handicap (1800m) at the Gold Coast on June 20.
Waterhouse’s plan was to give the Irish import one run during the Queensland Winter Carnival and then prepare him for the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
The leading Randwick trainer has been happy with the progress of The Offer on the tracks as she puts plenty of stamina into his seven year old legs with trackwork rider Jason Lee giving good reports.
“‘Very good’ is how Jason described The Offer after partnering the gelding over 1400m. The Sydney Cup winner worked strongly coming home his last 200m in 12.0 seconds and with his Grand Final being on the first Tuesday in November, he is right where he needs to be at the minute,” Waterhouse wrote on her website after The Offer completed his trackwork session on Tuesday last week.
The Offer followed that up on Thursday morning with more solid work and Waterhouse says that his is on track for his Melbourne Cup assault.
‘Good solid work’ is what Jason said after partnering The Offer over 1600m coming home their last 200m in 12.1 seconds. The Offer is going really well at the minute and with his Grand Final still a long way away, he is doing everything right as we speak,” Waterhouse said of his Thursday morning gallop.
The Chris Waller trained Rugged Cross will carry the number two saddlecloth and will carry four kilos less than The Offer with 57kg, and will jump from gate seven with Brenton Avdulla to ride.
Rugged Cross was back in the winner’s circle three starts back when he beat Two Blue and Wouldnt It Be Nice in the Listed $100,000 Sydney Markets Limited Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on July 18.
At his next two runs the Cape Cross seven year old ran third to Keepit To Yourself in the Listed $100,000 The Paslode Winter Challenge (1500m) at Rosehill on August 1 followed by a fourth to Centre Pivot in the $85,000 Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club Spring Preview (1400m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
The rest of the field is on the minimum weight of 54kg and are all restricted class gallopers, including last start Rosehill winner Campania (barrier 2), the John Thompson trained Dragon Flyer (4) and local gallopers Footy Fan (1), Uncle Sugar (3), Vite Loni (6) and William Slater (8).