Securing clear pre-post favouritism for the Race That Stops a Nation following a commanding display for victory in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on Day 2 of The Championships in April, trainer Gai Waterhouse has confirmed classy stayer The Offer will not take his place in the 2014 Melbourne Cup after pulling up sore following the Caulfield Cup.
Securing a commendable record of six wins and a further five minor places from his 21 competitive appearances so far, The Offer began his racing career under the guidance of leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien before transferring to the care of Waterhouse at the end of 2012.
Yet to hit peak condition over four starts this time in, The Offer was unable to match the late pace of Admire Rakti and finished a disappointing eleventh in the Caulfield Cup, and was found to be harbouring soreness following pace work at Flemington on Tuesday.
“He warmed up OK but he wouldn’t change over the lead with his right leg,” trackwork jockey Kerrin McEvoy told the Herald Sun.
“It’s a bugger not being able to have him in the Cup. We were so close yet so far,” Waterhouse added.
“I wasn’t 100 percent happy with him, something wasn’t quite right and I thought if we keep going with him, we could do some damage.”
The winner of the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) at the conclusion of his maiden Australian preparation through the 2013 Spring Carnival, The Offer finished sixth in the Australian Turf Club 3.y.o+ (1400m) and third in the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) at the beginning of his autumn prep before securing three impressive victories in the Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m), Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) and Sydney Cup back-to-back.
The Offer has been confirmed to return to the spelling paddock ahead of a 2015 Autumn Carnival geared towards a defence of his Sydney Cup title.
Japanese raider Admire Rakti has maintained status on the top line of Melbourne Cup betting at $4.80 odds, ahead of Protectionist ($7), Lucia Valentina ($7.50) and Fawkner ($8.50) with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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