CUP’S JOURNEY CONTINUES
TOOWOOMBA’S pin-up horse Incentivise is looking to make it backto-back Group 1 victories this weekend.
The former Steve Tregea-galloper tackles a star-studded field in the $1m Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
It marks the five-year-old’s toughest test to date after he silenced critics with an all the way effort to take out his first Group 1, the Makybe Diva Stakes at this track on September 11.
Tregea’s Windemere Stud retains an ownership stake in the highly promising gelding, and was full of praise for his first-up Melbourne assignment.
“He’s a very good horse and it’s good to see him compete at the top level down there. Now he’s got to try and do it a few more times,” Tregea said.
“I thought he was obviously good and fought on well. I thought he would’ve travelled a bit easier, but he was leading only because no one else wanted to.
“Whether he does in a slightly longer race only time will tell, but he’s certainly capable.”
Punters are having a tough time splitting Incentivise with champion mare Verryy Elleegant at the top of the market.
She’s brings nine Group 1 wins into the event, including a thrilling victory in last year’s Turnbull.
Saturday’s assignment is the next stepping stone on a path to the Caulfield
and Melbourne Cups, and Tregea said he hopes favouritism in the two features can be justified with another strong performance.
“I’ve always thought that the further he goes the better he’d be,” he said.
“I just hope he wins this Saturday and justifies his position as favourite. It would be exciting if he could win again.”
Another ex-Tregea talent that continues to make waves is Naboo Attack (formerly Command ’n’ Conquer).
The five-year-old has won two of his three starts since transferring to Hong Kong, including a luckless second at the weekend.
“He was a very good horse here and is just as good over there. He’s a beauty that fella,” Tregea said.
“I think he’ll be better over a mile. I’m surprised they’re keeping him to short distances, but they might have a big prizemoney race in mind.”
Incentivise isn’t the only former Toowoomba horse to be competing in a Group 1 this weekend, with ex-Michael Nolan filly Hinged to tackle the $750,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
The three-year-old has been rated as an outsider by bookmakers after failing to fire in her first start south of the border.