Trainer Gai Waterhouse has confirmed ruling Emirates Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer will likely plot his path to the first Tuesday in November through the Caulfield Cup (2400m) in October.
The Offer put on an exhibition gallop at Rosehill over the weekend and Waterhouse told The Daily Telegraph that the Sydney Cup winner was in superb order less than four months out from his main spring target.
“The Offer has pulled up super, and he’s such a strong big gelding. Josh Parr rode him in the (exhibition gallop) and said he couldn’t hold him,” Waterhouse said.
“(Jockey) Tommy Berry was straight on the phone and said, ‘wow, doesn’t he look fantastic?’, and I said, ‘cool your heels, worry about him when you get home’.
Waterhouse is looking to make it back-to-back Emirates Melbourne Cup successes after Fiorente’s win last year, but rather than taking a path through the Cox Plate, like his stablemate in 2013, The Offer will look to go through the BMW Caulfield Cup.
Waterhouse is also eying the Melbourne Cup with Tres Blue, who ran 22nd in the race last year, and Cafe Society, who finished third at his first run for Waterhouse in the Listed Wolferton Handicap (2011m) at Ascot.
But she all but ruled out recent stable acquisition Pornichet, who led-up in the Group 1 Belmont Derby Invitational (2000m) on Sunday before finishing down the track, tackling Australia’s richest race on November 4.
“Then next year when he’s a more seasoned horse, we’ll prepare him for the Cup,” she said.
“Anything could jump out between now and the Cup, but The Offer, Cafe Society, Tres Blue (they’re the main ones).”
She also said she wasn’t concerned by a pre workout tumble that The Offer took ahead of his gallop with stablemate Travolta on Saturday.
“It’s better for it to happen before an exhibition gallop than on an actual race day,” Waterhouse said.