Gai Waterhouse’s chances of securing just her second Sydney Cup victory were boosted over the weekend with her flying five-year-old The Offer securing sole favouritism for the big one after their Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) win in the wet at Randwick.
The Montjeu gelding was, pre-Chairman’s victory, sharing top spot in the 2014 Sydney Cup odds with Ranvet Stakes – The BMW winner Silent Achiever.
Now the lightly raced Irish import is clear favourite at $2.80 following their weekend win coupled with the news the Roger James-trained Silent Achiever will not stretch to the two miles of the $1 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on Saturday.
Instead the in-form Kiwi mare will look for her shot at the incredible $2.4 million winner’s cheque in the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) for which she’s $4.40 second pick to win behind Waterhouse’s Ranvet Stakes runner-up Carlton House ($3.40).
Over the years Waterhouse has saddled up 18 Sydney Cup horses but has enjoyed just the one win, a record she’s out to improve this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with The Offer.
There are 54 stayers making up the Sydney Cup nominations, 10 of which are trained by Waterhouse.
The Offer has won their past two on the trot by impressive margins, the known mudlark relishing two Heavy (9) tracks to win the Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on March 29 and then the Chairman’s on the weekend by a combined six lengths.
The Chairman’s is the ideal Sydney Cup lead-up historically too with 18 of the last 29 Sydney Cup winners coming via the race the weekend before.
Since 1986 seven of those have completed the double, most recently Jessicabeel (2010).
It also bode well if they start top of the Sydney Cup betting markets as five of the past 10 Sydney Cup favourites have saluted, most recently Niwot (2012).
The Chairman’s was an emotional win for jockey Tommy Berry, who has had two Sydney Cup rides for zero wins, as he dedicated it to his late twin brother and fellow hoop Nathan.
Berry is confident The Offer has what it takes to go up to the 3200m this weekend, believing the distance is a non-issue.
“He will run 5000m,” he told The Courier Mail.
“He has an electric turn of foot, but he doesn’t give you much of a feel in the run.”
Waterhouse was equally as bullish leading up to the big one.
“Just back him in the Sydney Cup, he will bolt in,” she said.
Following The Offer at single figures in the pre-field Sydney Cup markets are then
- Voleuse De Coeurs ($7) – Irish St Leger winning mare now prepared down under by Michael Moroney, has had three starts here including two fifths this time in behind Fiorente in the Australian Cup and Silent Achiever in The BMW
- Sertorius ($7.50) – Jamie Edwards-trained improver was a Ranvet fifth, The BMW fourth and then fourth again on the weekend in a brave Chairman’s run
- Who Shot Thebarman ($8) – Kiwi raider looking to make their mark on Sydney soil this autumn, has won four of their past five back home most recently producing a clear victory over the 3200m in the Auckland Cup, proven in the wet (which they’ll likely get again on Saturday) and the distance so a definite danger
Other well fancied hopes at more generous prices then include the reigning Sydney Cup winner Mourayan ($11), the Peter Snowden-trained Australian Derby runner-up from last Saturday Tupac Amaru ($11), the Chris Waller-trained Brigantin ($13) and Chairman’s Handicap runner-up Tremec ($13).
It’s a logjam of hopes under $20 in the markets too with others in the top half of betting including NE Manion runner-up Opinion ($14), Hobart – Launceston Cup double champ Epingle ($15), Red Ransom mare Let’s Make Adeal ($16), Australian Cup second placed Green Moon ($17) and Waterhouse’s next bets hope Hippopus ($18) who ran third in the Chairman’s.
These markets are set to shorten tomorrow after the official Sydney Cup 2014 field is released, final acceptances closing at 12pm (AEST).
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the field, making sure you head over to Ladbrokes.com.au too to get in on the Sydney Cup action now before prices on your favourites come in!
2014 Sydney Cup Nominations
|3||BAYRIR (FR)||Chris Waller||103|
|4||BLACK TYCOON||Justin Warwick||103|
|5||BLOODBUZZ OHIO||Gary Portelli||59|
|6||BRIGANTIN (USA)||Chris Waller||102|
|8||DESERT JEUNEY||Nigel Blackiston||90|
|9||EPINGLE (NZ)||Michael Kent||105|
|10||FIFTH COLUMN||Gerard Betros||67|
|11||FIORENTE (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||118|
|13||GONDOKORO (NZ)||Pat Carey||101|
|14||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||113|
|15||HIPPOPUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||86|
|16||IBICENCO (GER)||Peter G Moody||105|
|17||JULIENAS (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||105|
|18||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||94|
|19||LET’S MAKE ADEAL||Nigel Blackiston||99|
|20||LIKE A CAROUSEL||Ken Keys||75|
|21||LUNAYIR (FR)||Chris Waller||91|
|22||MACEDONIAN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||89|
|23||MASSIYN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||101|
|24||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||109|
|25||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||111|
|26||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||99|
|27||ORDER OF THE SUN||Gai Waterhouse||73|
|28||PENTOMETER (NZ)||Chris Waller||78|
|29||PERMIT (GB)||Chris Waller||104|
|30||POET’S FORTUNE||Anthony Cummings||63|
|31||PRINCE CHERI (FR)||David Vandyke||100|
|34||RETORT COURTEOUS (NZ)||Steve Englebrecht||65|
|35||SCOTTISH BALLET||Pam Webber||53|
|36||SERTORIUS||Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington||105|
|37||SESENTUM (GB)||Gai Waterhouse||67|
|39||SHOW THE WORLD (NZ)||Murray Baker||76|
|40||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||111|
|41||SPRING CHEER (NZ)||Kevin Myers||98|
|43||SURPASS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||85|
|46||TENBY LADY (USA)||Gai Waterhouse||77|
|47||THE OFFER (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||95|
|48||TREMEC (NZ)||John P Thompson||98|
|49||TUPAC AMARU||Peter Snowden||70|
|50||UNBELIEVABLE BUY||John Thom||55|
|51||VAQUERA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||89|
|52||VAYAKHAN (FR)||David Vandyke||69|
|53||VOLEUSE DE COEURS (IRE)||Michael Moroney||113|
|54||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Mark Oulaghan||105|