Roger Charlton’s exciting prospect Top Offer looks set to make his seasonal reappearance in Saturday’s Group 3 AON Greenham Stakes at Newbury where nothing less than a big performance will enhance his claims for serious consideration for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 5, writes Elliot Slater.
Charlton, who has his horses in good form at this early stage of the campaign, has already indicated that he expects the son of Dansili to come on for the outing but told the horse racing betting news that he is hopeful that he will give a good account of himself in the seven furlong contest that is seen as a key trial for the first colts’ classic of the season at HQ just a couple of weeks later.
Currently a top priced 13/2 third-favourite for the 2000 Guineas behind the drifting 11/4 market leader Camelot, (trained at Ballydoyle by Aidan O’Brien), and the very heavily backed Brian Meehan-trained Most Improved (9/2), Top Offer raced only once during his juvenile season but made a huge impression when justifying strong horse racing tips market support and persistent rumours about him having shown exceptional ability on the Beckhampton gallops, in beating Sir Michael Stoute’s Pulverize by three-and-a-half-lengths at Newbury last September over seven furlongs, showing a smart turn of foot to scythe through the field and bound clear well over a furlong from home.
The runner-up did little to advertise the form in being beaten six-lengths into second place in a Kempton all-weather maiden contest a few weeks later so Top Offer still has something to prove if he is to be taken seriously as a genuine classic contender. A half-brother to a 10 furlong winner, it may prove the case that Top Offer is at least as well suited by more of a stamina test and he figures at 25/1 in the ante-post list for the Investec Epsom Derby, another contest dominated by the unbeaten Camelot who heads the market at 5/2.