Bec McRae is all smiles after Bold Offa’s Wellington win Photo – Racing Photography

Yass trainer Allan McRae was rewarded for making the long trip to Wellington on Sunday, with Bold Offa proving a little too nippy in the 900m Benchmark 66 Handicap.

Ridden by Clayton Gallagher, the four-year-old jumped with them from gate five, and once he balanced up, he cruised to the front.

Turning for home, he still had some work to do, with a big field chasing hard behind him, but Bold Offa ($4.60) stuck to his guns and won by 1.68 lengths from the Alison Smith-trained Billabong Isle (William Stanley, $3.50), while in third and 1.78 lengths back was the Clint Lundholm-trained Beauchamp (Hollie Hull, $5).


“It was a peach of a ride,” McRae told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.

“Clayton didn’t over-race him; he got him into his rhythm without running him off his feet and got him into his comfort zone.”

Bold Offa is an out-and-out sprinter, with the Yass galloper boasting a good record of 16 starts for five wins and two placings, earning connections over $80,000 in prize money.


McRae said the 900m journey best suited Bold Offa, with the 1000m trip a bit too far, especially on tracks with long straights.

“Those tracks suit him down to the ground,” McRae said.

“At Wellington, he railed like a greyhound around the turn, and it was just a good ride by Clayton.

“If you saw his previous run at Wagga, you’ll see he is a dead-set 900m horse, and he had them all off the bit chasing and was only beaten a few lengths in that race over the (Wagga Gold Cup) carnival.”

Bold Offa, whom Allan and Bec McRae bred, has sprinting in his blood.

His sire Bon Hoffa is a multiple Group winner over 1200m and 1400m, and his dam Bold Countess (x Danzero) started 14 times, registering four wins over the 1000m journey, which included a good win in the 2006 Aristocrat Camarena Quality at Canberra.


“We bred him; (the late) Rick Worthington trained the mother, and I am a chiropractor for horses and did a lot of work on Bold Countess, and Matty Cahill said that she was one of the fastest horses he ever sat on,” McRae said.

“I went to the sales, and I remember this mare, and saw her in the catalogue, and she was in foal to Ad Valorem, and I ended up buying her.

“She ended up with a filly foal (Valorhesse) that we raced, and she won two or three, and she (Bold Countess) just really matched up well on paper to Bon Hoffa, who’s only down the road.

“We thought, ‘It’s a cheap service fee, and we breed to race’, and this is what we got, and while sometimes on paper, what looks good doesn’t translate, but it did this time.”


Bold Offa is a cracking type, with McRae explaining that he is yet to be gelded and connections will have to decide soon on what they are doing, as McRae believes it could impact his racing.

“He’s deceiving; he’s not overly tall, but he’s a nice type and very well put together,” McRae said.

“He’s still got them in, and we were worried they were pinching, so we’ve got to decide if we make that big gear change pretty soon.”

Clayton Gallagher guides the Allan McRae-trained Bold Offa to victory in the 900m Benchmark 66 Handicap at Wellington on Sunday. Photo – Racing Photography

Bold Offa, who has raced in town previously, will likely head back to Moonee Valley for their 955m races later in the year, but for now, McRae is looking for something suitable in NSW.

“He went to Moonee Valley, but the jockey had him on the wrong foot, and he never had a chance, and it was his first go in that direction,” McRae said.

“We had worked him that way, but we’ll probably look at a jump-out or trial that way before we go back there, but for now, we may go to Gosford; there is a 1000m (race) there coming up, and I’d like to think he’d get the 1000m around a tight-turning track.

“He’s pulled up well, so we’ll just have a bit of a look”.


It’s an exciting time for the stable, who also has Saddle The Sun in work.

The nine-year-old successfully returned from a 170-week spell at Canberra earlier this month, and connections are setting him up for a mid-week city race earlier next month.


“You have your good and slow periods, and sometimes your good horses move on,” McRae said.

“We’ve got some good horses in work now and some exciting two-year-olds coming through, and hopefully, they can live up to expectations and keep the good run going.”


McRae will likely travel to Nowra on Thursday, with maiden galloper Texas Open nominated to contest the 1100m Maiden Plate.


Jeff Hanson