Former Queensland galloper Incentivise made it back-to-back Group 1 wins at Flemington in the Turnbull Stakes on Saturday.
Now trained by Peter Moody, the Caulfield Cup favourite was having his second Victorian start, three weeks after his first-up win in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes.
The son of Shamus Award was supported in betting late, starting a $2.60 second favourite, with nine-time Group 1 winner Verry Elleegant sent out as a $2.00 favourite in her quest to go back-to-back in the Turnbull.
Brett Prebble partnered Incentivise once again, finding the front from barrier six and holding the rail, despite pressure from Mount Popa on the outside of him.
Other market fancies Verry Elleegant and Sir Dragonet looked to get the run of the race in behind the speed, but were unable to match motors with Incentivise in the straight, with outsiders Young Werther and Chapada storming home to fill the minor placings.
“It was a big effort today, I’m proud of him,” Prebble said.
“They just didn’t leave him alone – he didn’t get much peace, but I’m fortunate that he’s a very kind horse and he doesn’t take the bridle (over-race) and he conserves his energy.
“We were probably going half a second quicker than I would’ve like to have for the first 1000m; got through his gears and let him start to pick up from the half-mile and he gave me a good feel – I thought he was gonna win.
“But then he hit a flat patch at about the 400; I’d have liked another gear there, but there wasn’t and he actually couldn’t go any faster.
“I really loved him late, he was strong through the line and was really in his groove today.
“He gave me a real stayers feel, he can take it up and cop whatever’s served at him and look what he did, he ran them into the ground – he showed them today it’s no fluke his last Group 1.”
Incentivise has once again firmed for the Caulfield Cup, with the gelding now a $2.30 favourite with online bookmakers for the October 16 feature.