The Offer has not been seen on course since an injury ruled him out of the 2014 Melbourne Cup but jockey Tommy Berry is confident the talented stayer is in the right form for a successful return in Saturday’s Listed Southbank Insurance Brokers Handicap (1800m) on the Gold Coast.
The Offer was a standout performer for Berry and trainer Gai Waterhouse over the 2014 Autumn Carnival and claimed early favouritism for the Melbourne Cup with consecutive victories in the Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m), Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) and Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
Having worked with the Montjeu entire in the lead-up to his racing return, Berry revealed he was not all that confident of a successful campaign prior to a final hit-out at the Gold Coast earlier this week.
“After his work last week on dirt, I wasn’t overly excited about him,” Berry told The Courier Mail.
“But his work this morning was very good and he absolutely loved it.
“I am very excited about him now and he is definitely a great chance on Saturday and especially if there is a bit of rain.”
Posting a commendable race record of six wins and a further five minors through 21 career starts, The Offer began his career under the guidance of Aidan O’Brien in Ireland before being purchased and transferred to the care of Waterhouse prior to his 2013 campaign.
Unable to make much of a competitive impact through his maiden Australian campaign, The Offer announced his arrival over a short but strong 2013 spring preparation, highlighted by success in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) in late November.
Returning in spring last year for fifth in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m), The Offer failed to fire when beating just one runner home in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and finished sixth in the Group 1Turnbull Stakes (2000m) prior to his injury suffered in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Confirmed to line up amongst a talented field of 12, The Offer is currently perched on the second line of Southbank Insurance Brokers Handicap betting at a quote of $4.60 for success with Ladbrokes.com.au.