After a gutsy run in the world’s richest handicap last Tuesday over the two miles at Flemington, The Offer returns to the distance for Saturday’s 2015 Sandown Cup on Zipping Classic Day.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse couldn’t have been happier with the run of the seven-year-old Montjeu gelding in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 3, and at one stage thought she could be watching another Fiorente who won the classic for the stable in 2013.
In the end though The Offer could only manage to finish three and a quarter lengths away eighth behind upset winner Prince Of Penzance in the ‘race that stops a nation’, his third run over the 3200m.
“On the turn he was travelling that well I thought I was watching Fiorente again, but he was out wide where you couldn’t win, but he still ran home better than any other horse out there,” she told the Herald Sun.
He makes it four two mile starts this weekend at Sandown Hillside in the $150,000 Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) looking for his second win after success over the distance in last year’s Sydney Cup with Dwayne Dunn aboard.
The Offer leads the Sandown Cup weights with a hefty 60kg allocation the evergreen veteran will have to overcome as he looks to secure his second win in three starts after carrying 59kg to victory in the Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) on October 28.
It is that form Waterhouse hopes he can return to on the weekend with the $1.5 million earner rounding out his preparation before spelling with the long term aim of another Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) run at Royal Randwick in the autumn.
After pulling up well post-Melbourne Cup run, The Offer will relish the quick back-up according to his trainer.
“He pulled up remarkably well. I don’t have to do too much with him as he’s got the mileage in his legs,” Waterhouse said.
“He hasn’t had a tough preparation. He had the quick back up from the Bendigo Cup to the Melbourne Cup and since then he’s just been shooting the breeze.”
As well as the Sydney Cup in April, Waterhouse is confident The Offer will still be fit enough to have another Melbourne Cup run in 2016 despite his age.
“He’s going to be eight but, as results have shown, if you give them time they can still be at their best at that age,” she said.
Other possible Melbourne Cup graduates from this spring entered for a Sandown Cup run include the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Geelong Cup winner Almoonqith who ran 18th after getting caught back and Sertorius for Jamie Edwards who crossed 12th in his 42nd career run.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for the official Sandown Cup 2015 field and barriers out shortly.
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