Incentivise handed 1.5kg penalty for Melbourne Cup

Incentivise wins Caulfield Cup
Incentivise ridden by Brett Prebble wins the Caulfield Cup at Caulfield Racecourse on October 16, 2021. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

After Saturday’s emphatic victory in the Caulfield Cup, Incentivise has been issued a 1.5kg penalty for the $8 million Melbourne Cup by Racing Victoria.

The five-year-old gelding will be looking to make it 10 straight wins in what is already one of the quickest rises to fame in racing history, after he broke his maiden at the Sunshine Coast in April this year.

Originally handicapped 55.5kg, the now three-time Group 1 winner will have to carry 57kg in the race that stops a nation.

The former Queenslander now joins Verry Elleegant, Spanish Mission and Gold Trip at that mark, while last year’s Melbourne Cup winner, Twilight Payment, will carry the top weight of 58kg.

“Incentivise was imperious in winning the Carlton Draught Caulfield Cup on Saturday and, along with Jameka in 2016, arguably the most impressive Cup victor since Might And Power won by 7.5 lengths and broke the track record in 1997,” said Greg Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager – Racing.

“Incentivise faces new challenges at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November, extending to 3200 metres for the first time and tackling international contenders in defending champion Twilight Payment and world class English stayer Spanish Mission.

“That said, those who finished well behind him on Saturday were entitled to some relief in the weights come Flemington.

“With second placegetter Nonconformist not entered for the Lexus Melbourne Cup, his nearest Caulfield Cup rival was 5.25 lengths in arrears.

“In the context of modern Cup history, a 1.5kg penalty and Incentivise’s new weight of 57kg represents a significant challenge for the newest star of Australian racing to deliver trainer Peter Moody his first Melbourne Cup victory, but it’s one that is not insurmountable given his current form.”

Last year’s Caulfield Cup champion, Verry Elleegant, was only penalised 0.5kg heading into the 2021 Melbourne Cup, while previous winners Jameka (2016) and Mer De Glace (2019) were allocated an extra 1.5kg and 1kg respectively.

Incentivise will be looking to replicate Ethereal’s feats of 2001 as he looks to be the first horse in 20 years to complete the famous Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double, while he will also be out to join Makybe Diva as the only other horse to carry 57kg or more and win the famous race since 1977.

Fourth acceptances will be taken for the Melbourne Cup on October 25, while there are just two more races that offer ballot exemption: the Cox Plate (October 23) and the Lexus Stakes (October 30).

Incentivise is now the $2.40 favourite for the Melbourne Cup, with international raider Spanish Mission the $6 second-elect.

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