Melbourne Cup favourite hit with weight penalty

Incentivise has been asked to carry an extra 1.5 kilograms in his bid to complete the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double. 

A boom horse of Australian racing, Incentivise has been re-handicapped to 57kg for the $8 million Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 2.

The penalty comes after Incentivise made it nine wins in a row when he trounced his Caulfield Cup rivals on Saturday.

In scoring one of the more emphatic Caulfield Cup wins of the modern era, the Peter Moody-trained Incentivise is poised to start as one of the shortest-priced Melbourne Cup favourites in almost a century.

But Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said Incentivise’s Melbourne Cup task was not going to be easy.

“It’s a big challenge, but we are comfortable that the 1.5 kilos taking him to 57 is the right assessment,” Carpenter said.

“If you look at the 11 horses who have done the double there’s only one horse who has actually carried 57 or more to win the Melbourne Cup, and that was Rising Fast.”

The Caulfield Cup was missing international representation and Carpenter said the Flemington presence of Northern Hemisphere stayers — such as Spanish Mission — would provide a much sterner test for Incentivise.

Spanish Mission — who has six wins from 18 starts — will be equal Melbourne Cup top weight with Incentivise.

The six-year-old Spanish Mission will go into Australia’s greatest race with one of the best staying formlines on the world stage after a photo-finish defeat behind the incomparable Stradivarius over 3,300 metres in the Lonsdale Cup in York, England earlier this year.


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