Incentivise set a challenge in pursuit of Cups double

Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, has today issued a 1.5kg penalty in the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) to Saturday’s emphatic Carlton Draught Caulfield Cup (2400m) winner Incentivise.

The penalty sees the Peter Moody-trained Queensland-bred stayer – a winner of his last nine starts – rise from 55.5kg to 57kg for Australia’s most famous race to be run on Tuesday, 2 November at Flemington.

Incentivise joins Verry Elleegant, Spanish Mission and Gold Trip in the Melbourne Cup weights on 57kg, with defending champion Twilight Payment the topweight on 58kg.

Carpenter said: “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.

“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.”

The 1.5kg penalty is the same afforded to Jameka after her dominant victory in the 2016 Caulfield Cup. She carried 54.5kg, with weights raised 0.5kg at final acceptances, when ultimately finishing 15th in the Melbourne Cup.

Verry Elleegant was penalised 0.5kg last year for her Caulfield Cup win and carried 55.5kg to seventh place in the Melbourne Cup, while in 2019 Mer de Glace was penalised 1kg to 56kg in the Melbourne Cup where he finished sixth.

Incentivise is striving to become just the 12th horse to win the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double with the mare Ethereal the last to do so 20 years ago when she carried 52kg to victory in the 2001 Melbourne Cup.

Since 1977 when Gold and Black carried 57kg to win the Cup for the legendary Bart Cummings, 68 horses have carried 57kg or more in the race and only Makybe Diva has been able to win. She did so when carrying 58kg in 2005.

Incentivise’s victory in the Caulfield Cup has seen the horse move to the top of the Melbourne Cup order of entry with the race offering the winner a ballot exemption.

The other horse to make notable progression up the order of entry is the Mike Moroney-trained Chapada whose $120,000 stake for running sixth in the Caulfield Cup was enough to see him rise to 24th – one spot ahead of Tralee Rose.

There are two more ballot exemption races to come for the Melbourne Cup, being the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley this Saturday, 23 October; and the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on 30 October.

Fourth acceptances for the Melbourne Cup will be taken at 10am (AEDT) next Monday, 25 October.

Click here to view the updated Melbourne Cup order of entry as at 18 October 2021