What weight will Racing Victoria handicapper Greg Carpenter give Incentivise in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups after the gelding’s breakthrough win at Group 1 level.
That was a question being asked after Incentivise stretched his winning sequence to seven by taking out the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday, his first run for new trainer Peter Moody.
The son of Shamus Award had won six of his nine starts for owner-breeder Steve Tregea who sold a half-share in the gelding to a syndicate headed by Ozzie Kheir and Brae Sokolski.
Ridden by Brett Prebble, Incentivise ($3.90) took up the lead and held off a late bid by Mo’unga ($4.40) to score by a neck with Sir Dragonet ($31) a short-half-head away third.
“It probably wasn’t the way we intended to go about it, but I just left that totally up to Brett,” Moody said.
“As we’ve seen, the further he gets into a race, he builds nicely and even though they got to him, you knew he was going to keep going.
“It was very encouraging at this stage of the spring. We’ve only got one more run between now and the Cup which will probably be the Turnbull.
“He is a very good horse. I am yet to see him have a blow, so he’s obviously got a great set of lungs on him, so upwards and onwards.
“When he gets to a mile-and-a-quarter and he is allowed to build and roll and has a bunny instead of being the bunny, I think you are going to see a pretty exciting stayer.”
But the trainer said he takes a lot of heart from Tregea’s comments about the gelding.
“Steve said the further he gets into a campaign, the better he does and the more he thrives,” Moody said.
“He’s thrived to this point, so if he continues to go onwards and upwards, look out.”
Prebble landed his second Group 1 win of the new season having guided Behemoth to victory in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on August 28.
The in-form jockey said he was as kind as he could be aboard Incentivise knowing there was still a long way to go into the spring.
“He floats along, and you can feel he’s not aggressive,” Prebble said.
“They came at him, I let them get up and about him and when I asked him for an effort, he dug deep.
“If I had asked him from the top of the straight, I reckon he would have opened up and given them something to chase, but I wanted to give him an easy time.
“First-up at the mile and we got away with it.”