Early favourite for the major Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) following an impressive autumn campaign, in-form hoop Tommy Berry is confident talented stayer The Offer will be a standout performer over the entirety of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival after partnering the rising six-year-old in a Randwick barrier trial on Friday morning.
Quickly rising to the task over five starts through autumn, Berry partnered The Offer in each of his three final starts; all for victory, including the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on day 2 of the inaugural The Championships at Randwick on April 19th.
Returning from a successful stint riding abroad in Hong Kong, Berry told TVN he cannot believe the positive changes to size, strength and ability The Offer has made during his time in the paddock, and is confident of early success during his spring campaign.
“He trialled really good, he jumped out and settled near the rear, came between horses at the top of the straight and really let down well coming to the line,” Berry said.
“Heading towards the Melbourne Cup, it’s quite pleasing.
“You look at him last preparation, in his trials and he couldn’t keep up to the second-last horse, whereas today he sprinted home to run second or third.
“It’s a big difference and I think you’ll see a lot more (from him) in his earlier runs this preparation compared to what he did last prep.
“He feels like a different horse. He had a long prep last prep; he was in for a long time with not many starts but he’s come back a lot stronger.
“I just can’t believe how big he is behind his saddle. He’s just so much stronger and he showed that today.”
Securing an impressive total of six race wins and five minor places from just 17 competitive starts to date, The Offer began his racing career under the guidance of leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien in early 2012 before transferring to the care of current trainer Gai Waterhouse at the conclusion of the same year.
Storming into favouritism for the 2014 Melbourne Cup on the back of his performance in the Sydney Cup, The Offer is currently available at generous odds of $15 to take out the Race that Stops a Nation; with the same quote offered for success in the Caulfield Cup two weeks prior with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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