Gai’s Cup runneth Offer

Less than six months after winning her first Emirates Melbourne Cup, champion trainer Gai Waterhouse believes she has the horse to provide her with another.

That horse is Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) winner The Offer, who today recorded his third-straight Group win in the $1million feature.

Following the victory, an excited Waterhouse said she was already turning her attention to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with the five-year-old import.

“What a stayer! Look at the rest of them, he just donkey-licked them!” Waterhouse said.

“I love the way in a muddling run race, where he just couldn’t quite get into his rhythm, he still was able to pick up.

“Melbourne Cup 2014 here we come!”

Settling in a midfield position, jockey Tommy Berry didn’t panic when The Offer ($3.30F) was shuffled back towards the rear of the field approaching the home turn.

Patiently waiting for the gap to appear, once Berry angled the son of Montjeu to the outside in the home straight he quickly raced to the leader Opinion ($26) at the 200m mark, before sprinting away to win by just under four lengths from Opinion, with Sertorius ($8.50) a further length-and-a-half away in third.

Winning owner Robert McLure, who was also involved with last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, said there was no reason why The Offer couldn’t line up in the race that stops a nation.

“It’s been a sad time losing Fiorente from racing but it looks like we’ve got another one,” McLure said.

“He could easily go to the Melbourne Cup.”

The Offer’s win provided Waterhouse and Berry with a treble on Day 2 of The Championships following the wins of outsider Diamond Drille in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) and Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m).

The day’s main event, the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), was taken out by Kiwi entire It’s A Dundeel ($4.40), completing a Group 1 double for jockey James McDonald.

The four-year-old proved too strong in the home straight for the Gai Waterhouse-trained Carlton House ($8) before holding off the late challenge of last week’s Doncaster Mile (1600m) winner Sacred Falls ($11).

2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon ($15) could only manage seventh place, 12 lengths away from the winner, with jockey Hugh Bowman saying the horse was simply ran off his legs.

Story by Ben Asgari