Gai Waterhouse’s Sydney Cup winner from last year The Offer is the highest-rated nominee for the Sandown Cup 2015 run over the two miles this Saturday as part of Zipping Classic Day.
Montjeu seven-year-old The Offer is one of 22 early entries taken for this year’s $150,000 Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) for the genuine staying types of the season.
Proven over the distance in the Group 1 Sydney Cup from two autumns back, The Offer was back in the winner’s stall with a Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) success two back in late October.
He raced again last Tuesday in the world’s richest handicap, stepping back up to 3200m in the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup.
With prize money paid down to 10th he took something home to connections crossing just over three lengths away eighth behind Darren Weir’s shock Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance ($101).
Now The Offer could be given a final chance to salute over the two miles again in the Sandown Cup on Saturday.
The other two highest rated entries for the quality handicap are the Weir-trained Dandino, a stablemate to this year’s Melbourne Cup winner, and the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Almoonqith.
Runner-up in the 2013 Caulfield Cup, classy veteran nine-year-old Dandino was runner-up two back in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) before a consolation Flemington win last weekend in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2600m) after being balloted out of the 24-starter Melbourne Cup field.
He is a dual nominee on the weekend also entered for the weight-for-age $300,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
Almoonqith is also a dual nominee for both races, the six-year-old son of Dynaformer beating Dandino home in the Geelong Cup before his failed 18th in the Melbourne Cup.
Hayes & Dabernig have also thrown in a Sandown Cup nomination for High Chaparral six-year-old Packing Empire who hasn’t raced in stakes’ company since October of 2013.
Weir also has multiple Sandown Cup entries with his six-year-old Zabeel mare Zanteca the other coming off a second in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) when beaten by a mere short half-head on Victoria Derby Day.
Archie Alexander’s defending Sandown Cup winner Renew is entered to attempt back-to-back wins in his fourth 3200m start.
His form this time in however has left a lot to be desired including the 13th to De Little Engine on Melbourne Cup Day in a Benchmark 96 over 2800m from a wide barrier on November 3.
The Danny O’Brien-trained winner of that race is another Sandown Cup nominee, the Encosta De Lago five-year-old getting up over the distance for the first time but boasting a solid Sandown Hillside record of two wins and a second from three starts at the track.
Chris Waller’s reigning Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshal is nominated out to atone for a 21st placing in the Melbourne Cup this year, while Ken Keys’ Queen’s Cup fourth placed Like A Carousel could get the chance to turn the tables on his last start conqueror.
Cambridge-based New Zealand horseman Murray Baker is out to keep his stellar spring raid going following his big wins in the Caulfield Cup with Mongolian Khan and last Saturday’s Emirates Stakes with Turn Me Loose.
He has Authorized five-year-old Maygrove nominated for the Sandown Cup after three straight fourth place finishes in Melbourne on the trot including in the Geelong Cup and Bendigo Cup behind fellow Saturday entries Almoonqith and The Offer respectively.
Check out the full Sandown Cup 2015 nominations below, the final field and barrier draw out on Wednesday.
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2015 Sandown Cup Nominations
Sandown Racecourse – 14/11/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||416×506710||ALMOONQITH (USA)||H||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||105|
|2||17x26x6140||ANNUS MIRABILIS (IRE)||G||5||Robert Hickmott||72|
|3||6184183005||CRAFTY CRUISER||G||8||Bryce Stanaway||95|
|4||x504310030||CUBAN FIGHTER||G||4||Robbie Laing||72|
|5||624×008421||DANDINO (GB)||H||9||Darren Weir||106|
|6||34441×6771||DE LITTLE ENGINE||G||5||Danny O’Brien||95|
|7||9431×07500||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||G||6||Chris Waller||105|
|8||x893x00054||LIKE A CAROUSEL||G||6||Ken Keys||95|
|9||4x5421x469||MANALAPAN (IRE)||G||6||Ciaron Maher||90|
|11||x6x9624330||PACKING EMPIRE (NZ)||G||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||62|
|12||8x8946x975||PLANET PURPLE||G||9||Kerry Parker||76|
|13||005102×829||POP ’N’ SCOTCH||G||5||Liam Birchley||79|
|14||556x5x0069||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||G||10||James Cummings||101|
|15||53210×8754||REFECTORY (IRE)||G||6||Richard Laming||71|
|16||6300×00580||RENEW (IRE)||G||6||Archie Alexander||91|
|19||9x510x5865||TAKEN TIME||G||5||Kim & Gayle Mayberry||60|
|20||0x8x155418||THE OFFER (IRE)||G||7||Gai Waterhouse||107|
|21||8160×00783||TREMEC (NZ)||G||7||John P Thompson||91|
|22||3314×88212||ZANTECA (NZ)||M||6||Darren Weir||90|