Sydney trained galloper The Offer has returned to form at the right time of the year cruising to a strong victory in the Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) by ¾ of a length.
The 2014 Sydney Cup winner from the Gai Waterhouse stable was able to hold off fast finishing four year-old Divan and the John Sargent trained Kirramosa despite the heavy weight penalty of 59kg the seven year-old gelding carried.
With champion trainer Gai Waterhouse looking to add a second Melbourne Cup to her remarkable resume, she now has an in-form chance in which she can pin her hopes on when the expected field of twenty-four line ups in next week’s Melbourne Cup.
The Irish-born galloper, who was also aimed at last year’s Melbourne Cup before succumbing to injury, proved a class above it’s rivals after the Darren Gauci ridden Thunder Set rolled along in front throughout whilst The Offer and his rider Michael Walker were able to sit off the speed in fourth and fifth after coming across from barrier seven.
In an interview with Jason Richardson from ‘Racing.com’ Walker stated how it was a privilege to ride such a tough horse and that he believed The Offer has the ability to be extremely competitive in next week’s Melbourne Cup after being already proven at the 3200m journey.
“He’s probably as big-a-hearted horse as I’ve ridden.” Walker said.
“He had every chance to stop carrying the weight having to bring the field up to the leaders, but he didn’t.”
Walker pressed go as they began to turn for home and looked the winner upon straightening up as he and The Offer swamped frontrunners Araldo Junior and Wexford Town.
Despite being blocked for a run briefly before straightening up, the Murray Baker trained Maygrove was also able to run strongly after gaining a clear passage along the fence before the winner surged away shortly after the 200 meter mark.
Tooleybuc Kid of the Darren Weir stable also followed suit and battled on strongly, finishing a two length fifth behind The Offer after trailing Maygrove for the majority of the home straight.
The win in the Bendigo Cup will be the last run for The Offer before his tilt at next Tuesday’s Emirates Melbourne Cup where his standing in the field has certainly lifted.