One of the standout performers of the 2014 Autumn Carnival and early favourite for the Melbourne Cup as a result, trainer Gai Waterhouse is reportedly thrilled with the condition of classy stayer The Offer ahead of this weekend’s featured Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
Securing an impressive record of six wins and five minor places from just 18 competitive starts to date, The Offer began his racing career under the guidance of leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien before transferring to the care of Waterhouse as the conclusion of 2012.
Laying a great account for himself when charging home to finish a credible fifth in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley first-up on September 6th, jockey Tommy Berry said Waterhouse could not be more pleased with the condition of the Montjeu entire leading into the Underwood Stakes, and is excited by the prospect of returning to the five-year-old’s saddle once more.
“I spoke with Gai this morning and she can’t believe how good he’s come through his first run and how good he looks in the coat,” Berry told The Daily Telegraph.
“I’m excited by the fact he’s stepping up 200m in distance, and two weeks later in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington, that will suit him down to the ground.
“But he’s a tough horse, a clean-winded horse and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him win.”
Building towards an impressive victory in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) over just three starts through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, The Offer returned to racing in career-best form this year; finishing sixth in a minor event over 1400m first-up before running on for third in the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m).
Charging home to claim the Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) on March 29th, The Offer continued to impressive when repeating the dose in the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) on April 12th before breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
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