Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse has compared the “will to win” of her favourite for this year’s famous Flemington feature The Offer first-up this weekend as similar to last spring’s Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente.
Waterhouse made the comparison after watching her imported Montjeu gelding The Offer, current top pick for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) through Ladbrokes.com.au this November, work out on the notoriously tight Moonee Valley circuit on Tuesday morning.
It was a nice gallop to bring the five-year-old along for his first-up assignment in Saturday’s $250,000 Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) back at the track, and one that showed a similar determination to get to the post first as Waterhouse’s maiden Melbourne Cup champ Fiorente from last spring.
“It was really brisk work,” Waterhouse told the Herald Sun.
“It was a stretch and extend exercise. He is very laid back but he attacked the line hard like a real racehorse.
“He and Fiorente have one thing in common — the will to win.”
The Offer hasn’t raced since a blistering four length effort over the Chris Waller-trained Opinion in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 19.
That was the former Irish-trained galloper’s second look at the two miles and a much improved effort on his failure when beaten 15th lengths by Peal Of Bells when sixth in the Stayers Cup at Randwick in June last year.
On fire during the autumn with three commanding wins on the trot including the Sydney Cup, the bookies were quick to install The Offer at the top of the futures odds for the Melbourne Cup – official nominations for which are due for release later today.
While there is still a long way to get between this Saturday’s mile run at Moonee Valley and the Melbourne Cup, Waterhouse isn’t discounting the chances of The Offer first-up declaring the galloper was fit and ready to win his resuming run.
“He is out to win on Saturday,” she said in her usual confident style.
He will face a top class line-up of rivals too including four from the stables of Waller who has nominated for his Group 1 winners Sacred Falls, Foreteller, Royal Descent and Hawkspur.
Also in the mix are the likes of last start winners Mourinho, Star Rolling who won the Group 2 Peter Lawrence Stakes in a surprise result and the Mick Burles-trained The Cleaner who won over the track and distance at the start of the month.
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