Horse Racing
Former Hong Kong star Brett Prebble taking aim at Caulfield Cup

14/10/2021 11:49

The in-form Brett Prebble will look to keep his hot streak going through Melbourne’s 2021 Spring Carnival when he partners the Peter Moody-trained Incentivise in Saturday’s (16 October) AU$5 million (approx. HK$28.56 million) G1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

Caulfield Racecourse’s premier race – which was first run in 1879 – will be simulcast in Hong Kong, along with the AU$15 million (approx. HK$85.67 million) The Everest (1200m) from Randwick in Sydney.

Prebble remains one of only five jockeys to have ridden more than 800 winners in Hong Kong and he is enjoying a career resurgence after finding it difficult to win the backing of major trainers immediately after his return to Australia in 2018.

The 2012 Melbourne Cup-winning jockey enjoyed a decorated career in Hong Kong, also collecting some of Japan’s and Singapore’s biggest races and recently he has won four G1s in the past six weeks – including the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) aboard Incentivise – the likely Caulfield Cup favourite.

The five-year-old gelding, unbeaten in his past eight starts after finishing unplaced at his first three, was transferred to the man who prepared the brilliant Black Caviar in her 25-start unbeaten career after the horse was part sold by his owner, breeder and original trainer Steve Tregea.

Incentivise has made dramatic progress from a maiden win in April to dual G1 success but that has been no shock after he won four successive races, in Queensland, by an aggregate of 37.8 lengths towards the end of last season.

“You never know how far a horse is going to go, they can keep lifting the bar but most times they don’t. But when you are beating them as easy as he was in Queensland, it was obvious he was a good horse,” Tregea said in the lead-up to Saturday’s race.

Given the complications posed by COVID-19, no internationally trained horses will contest this year’s Caulfield Cup. Significantly, six of the past eight locally trained winners of the race have had their final lead-up in the Turnbull Stakes, including last year’s winner Verry Elleegant.

Young Werther, Chapada, Explosive Jack and Persan each ran well behind Incentivise in the Turnbull Stakes and are again expected to challenge Incentivise in Saturday’s contest under handicap conditions. 

Significant rainfall is forecast in Melbourne, from Thursday (14 October) through to Saturday, but soft ground would be unlikely to disadvantage Incentivise, Young Werther or Explosive Jack.

Hall of Fame jockey Damien Oliver is “fasting” this week in order to ride Delphi at 116lb.

The Irish import, now trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman, burst into Cup calculations with his win in the G2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) last Saturday (9 October) in which he defeated last year’s Cup third The Chosen One.