One-time favourite for this year’s edition of the ‘race that stops the nation’, Sydney Cup winner The Offer won’t be accepted into the 2014 Melbourne Cup field when final entries close on Saturday afternoon.
Gai Waterhouse informed Racing Victoria stewards today that her Montjeu gelding The Offer wouldn’t be among the final acceptors for Tuesday week’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse.
The five-year-old once sat atop the futures Melbourne Cup odds at bookies around the country but was on notable market drifter over the past couple of months.
He was installed as the top fancy for the world’s richest handicap back in April after an impressive four length win over the Chris Waller-trained Opinion in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick.
Failing to run better than fifth since however, The Offer was last seen running 3.5 lengths away 11th behind Japan’s Admire Rakti in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) after fitness issues arose pre-race.
It was a credible Caulfield Cup performance considering he was being wound up for the two-miles of the Melbourne Cup but a run he pulled up sore having only been cleared to run the day before following a vet check.
“The horse didn’t really stretch out like I know he can,” was the Caulfield Cup wrap-up from jockey Tommy Berry.
Waterhouse spoke to RV Chief Steward Terry Bailey on Tuesday morning and expressed her concerns over the horse’s continued soreness, confirming he would be a Melbourne Cup non-acceptor.
It was a notable blow for Berry then who was looking forward to jumping back in the saddle for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival’s showcase race.
“He galloped the best he’s gone last Saturday so I’m really disappointed he’s out of play,” Berry said.
“I haven’t had much luck with horses staying sound that I’m booked to ride.”
Yesterday there were 40 second Melbourne Cup acceptances with The Offer sitting sixth on the ballot.
Waterhouse broke her Melbourne Cup maiden last year with Fiorente but is now without a runner and without a shot at going back-to-back.
His withdrawal also paves the way for number 24 on the Melbourne Cup order of entry, Araldo, to gain a run.
The Michael Moroney-trained Araldo will look to hold onto that coveted starting position by running this Saturday on Victoria Derby Day in the $300,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) which offers a Melbourne Cup exemption to the winner.
The High Chaparral seven-year-old comes off a brave fifth when just one and a half lengths off the winner in the Caulfield Cup and pays $19 in the latest Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au sitting inside the top six in betting.
Check out the updated Melbourne Cup markets online now at Ladbrokes and enjoy up to $500 in bonus bets you can split four times this carnival season!